How to lift a million?

Gold bricks (Reuters/Kham)
A Siberian electrician stole 29 gold bars, worth more than US $75,000, from a bank where he repaired an elevator.

­It was not your regular lift, in any sense. A local division of Russia’s biggest bank, Sberbank, in the Republic of Yakutia in East Siberia used the elevator to carry large sums of money and precious metals in and out of storage. Perhaps you can imagine the frustration of the staff when the lift stood still on June 14.

They certainly called a maintenance worker. And now try to imagine the feelings of an average electrician who plunges into what he believes is a regular well of a regular elevator and instead, comes across a fortune – a bag of gold worth 2.5 million rubles.

Curiously enough, the worker somehow managed to drag the treasure past security, Komsomolskaya Pravda reports, and hid it in his garage.

It was quite some time before the bank staff discovered the loss. Indeed, there’s so much gold and diamonds in Yakutia – why bother? It’s just another bag of gold. Eventually, they called the police – a few days later.

Apparently, it didn’t take long to figure out who had fleeced the bank. When police detained the suspect, he quickly confessed and took them to his “gold reserve”.

His boss, Aleksey Titov, was truly amazed. “This person has been working for our company since the day it was established. He is responsible, reliable, married and has a kid. His family is wealthy enough – they have a flat and a car. He hardly drank, nor did he have any financial problems – his salary was quite good by local standards,” he said.

Now, the “wealthy” electrician faces up to 10 years behind bars and a fine of one million rubles. Considering the circumstances of the theft, however, police consider an alternative scenario, too. The gold may have been hidden by one of the bank’s staff, they say, who failed to take it out.