Police fire tear gas at grave robber trapped ‘in search of gold teeth’
ISTANBULTurkish police fired tear gas at a teenaged grave robber who became trapped “in search of gold teeth,” daily Hürriyet has reported.
According to reports, a 16-year-old Syrian youth dug a tunnel inside the Central Cemetery in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district on Nov. 13, allegedly in order to enter a grave and steal gold teeth.
However, the teen became trapped inside the grave when his tunnel collapsed.
A cemetery guard patrolling the graveyard noticed the boy’s clothes left by the side of the grave. The guard also heard a voice coming from inside the grave saying “God is great” in Arabic, an expression commonly used in Turkey.
Police teams were dispatched to the scene after being notified by the guard. It was then realized that the trapped person was a foreigner.
As the boy refused to climb out of the grave, police fired tear gas inside the hole to force him out.
After failed attempts, a fire department crew was called to the scene. The crew dug around the grave and removed the Syrian youth.
While it was presumed the boy entered the grave to steal gold teeth, there were conflicting allegations arguing he was depressed after leaving his family behind in Syria and wanted to commit suicide.
The police have launched an investigation into the incident.