Police nab not-so-smart phone thief in Chinese capital

Beijing woman arrested after being caught on camera stealing iPhone from an Apple store display table

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 August, 2017, 5:38pm

A Beijing woman has been detained for stealing an iPhone from an Apple store, Chinese media reported.

Staff at the shop on Wangfujing Street called the police after noticing a display model had gone missing, Sina.com reported on Tuesday, without saying when the theft took place.

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After reviewing footage from the store’s security cameras, police identified a suspect and went in search of her.

The film shows the woman, surnamed Cen, yanking on the phone in an effort to break the cable securing it to the display table. After a couple of tugs, the phone comes free and she walks out of the store with it.

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Moments later a shop assistant walks up to the table and discovers the phone missing.

Police traced Cen to a fast food outlet near Beijing Railway Station and questioned her about the incident. Despite having an iPhone 7 matching the missing item in her possession she denied any wrongdoing, saying she had acquired the handset by “legal means”.

The conversation between Cen and the police was also caught on camera.

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The report said the woman was put in detention for theft, but did not say how long she would spend in custody.

On the Apple website, the stolen handset has a retail price of 6,188 yuan (US$930).