Chinese police arrest suspected serial grave robber

Investigation launched after flood of calls about opened graves

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 4:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 05 January, 2018, 2:26pm

A man has been arrested on suspicion of robbing more than 80 graves in mountain cemeteries in eastern China.

The 50-year-old man, identified only by his surname Zhu, is suspected to have dug up and stolen valuables from 81 graves in mountains across Tonglu county, Zhejiang province, City Express Hangzhou reported. Local police said the stolen goods, including packets of cash, jewellery, phones, cameras and jade, were worth a total of 20,000 yuan (US$3,025).

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Police had been investigating the case since September, after they began receiving angry calls from people who had visited the cemeteries and found that the graves of their loved ones had been opened.

Zhu, who was detained by police last month, said he began stealing from graves after discovering that their covers could be easily removed, the report said.

Zhu said he stole valuables placed in the graves but denied touching the caskets, the report said.

The case is under further investigation.

The Chinese custom of burying valuable objects and daily necessities with the dead is thousands of years old.