Two men who scattered hundreds of metal nails along a Henan thoroughfare in a plot to get more customers for their tyre-repair business were convicted of endangering public security on Saturday.
The perpetrators, surnamed Yang and Li, ended up damaging more than 10 cars over the course of their operation, Xinhua reported.
Yang was sentenced to two years and three months in jail, while Li was handed a nine-month prison term.
Police caught wind of the matter on the morning of March 14 last year, when a driver complained that his car had been punctured by the barbs – the nails were customised to have four spikes – and that he found similar debris along the highway.
Yang, who worked for a shop’s tyre repair service with Li, said he purchased more than 200 steel nails that month after seeing their business decline.
On the night of March 13, the pair drove a van from Hebi city to neighbouring Tangyin county in northern Henan province.
They dropped some 200 nails on the highway for a 47-kilometre stretch, Xinhua reported.
Police had suspected the tyre-repair business was responsible as they had the clearest motive, but after analysis and surveillance, officers zeroed in and captured the two perpetrators.
Yang was initially given a three-year sentence, while his accomplice was given one year and nine months in jail, but they received reduced sentences after appealing the verdict based on their willingness to co-operate.