China: Around The Nation

Elderly Chinese thief sold stolen iPhone for a pittance as it ‘had only one button’

Pensioner took the handset in Nanjing, but thought it was of little use because of its lack of knobs to press, news website reports

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2017, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 February, 2017, 2:21pm

An elderly Chinese man stole an Apple iPhone 6 Plus which can cost at least US$785 new in China, but immediately sold it for the equivalent of US$29 because there was “only one button” on the handset, according to a news website report.

The man, who is nearly 70 and whose full name was not given, stole the phone in Nanjing in Jiangsu province last Friday, reported.

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He was spotted on surveillance footage taking the phone from a pile of players’ belongings next to a basketball court and was arrested two days later.

He admitted taking the handset, but said he regretted it when he tried using the phone and thought about throwing it away.

“I realised there was only one button on the phone. It didn’t seem very handy,” he was quoted as saying.

A passer-by also told him the phone was no good because it had only one button and the man decided to sell it to another passing stranger for 200 yuan.

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The man said he felt uneasy after stealing and selling the handset as he had never stolen anything in life.

“It was a decision made at a moment of weakness. I will have to hide my face in shame,” he was quoted as saying.

He has been released on police bail, according to the report.