China: Around The Nation

Bumbling Chinese snatch thief runs straight into police station after grabbing woman’s phone

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 April, 2017, 2:45pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 April, 2017, 2:45pm

A bumbling snatch thief was apprehended by police just 10 seconds after he grabbed a woman’s mobile phone on a street in southern China, Chinese media reported.

The 38-year-old man ran straight into a police station after snatching the device from the passer-by a block away in the Longgang district in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, news portal reported on Sunday.

Surveillance footage showed the woman holding a purple umbrella as she waited by a traffic junction on a rainy morning on March 31.

Robbery victim saves iPhone by handing over fake banknote worth HK$36 - which he claimed was Euros

The man, who had just parked his bicycle nearby just moment earlier, suddenly ran towards the woman, grabbed the mobile phone she was holding, and fled across the road.

The woman chased after the snatch thief immediately but tripped, falling to the ground in the middle of the road, the video clip showed.

At this time, it seemed like the thief would make a successful getaway.

But the man unwittingly ran past some gates and straight into a nearby police station, the report said.

A police officer who was smoking nearby as the thief ran in, stopped the man after the woman came running up, shouting that he had taken her phone.

The officer then apprehended the thief on the spot and escorted him into the police station, according to the report.

Subway snatch thief caught after he drops own phone while making off with iPhone

“When he ran into the station, his expression was panicked and confusion was written all over his face,” a police officer, surnamed Kong, told the news portal.

“Normally, suspects are quite sly. But this suspect appeared to be unfamiliar with the area, so he ran directly into our police station. This is a very rare occurrence.”

It turned out that the man had only recently arrived in Shenzhen, a tech hub that draws many migrant workers from across the country.

He had yet to find employment or a permanent place to live in, according to the report.

The report, which referred to the man as a “foolish thief”, drew amusement and ridicule among internet users.

“He practically put the handcuffs on himself,” one internet user commented.