China: Around The Nation

Burglar gang in Chinese city use fishing rod to rob residents as they sleep

Gang poked rod through ground-floor windows to retrieve clothing which they emptied of cash and valuables

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 August, 2016, 8:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 07 August, 2016, 8:14pm

Police in Wuhan, Hebei province have caught a gang of burglars who used a fishing rod to steal money from residents in ground-floor flats, the Chutian Metropolis Daily reports.

Police said the gang was responsible for 20 burglaries in the city since February. But the method by which they committed the crimes was unclear until recently.

The victim of one burglary, surnamed Yang, said he woke one morning in May to find his clothes lying in a pile outside his bedroom window, with his mobile phone and cash in the pockets missing.

In another case, a victim named Liu said she was woken by an unfamiliar noise at about 3:30 am on June 24. As she look up from her bed, she saw her pants fly across the room above her head. She then saw a fishing rod protruding through her bedroom window. She screamed and the thieves ran away.

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On July 27, the police caught four burglars, originally from Henan province, and a local woman taxi driver who was their partner in crime.

The report said the gang came to Wuhan last year had met each other playing cards and none of them had a full time job.

Since late last year, they had hired the taxi driver, named Zhang, and paid her between 300 to 400 yuan (HK$350 to HK$470) to drive them on each “fishing trip” which lasted about four hours.

The four chose to rob people who lived in alleys and lanes where windows were not locked.

The gang’s downfall came when they stole a mobile phone that had anti-theft software installed.

The app makes the phone photograph whoever tries to unlock the phone unsuccessfully and sends the images to cloud storage.

The owner later retrieved the photos and forwarded to the police.

Zhang and the burglars are being detained for further investigation.