Chinese man steals over 12 Mercedes car badges to get ‘likes’ on website

Thefts prompt discussion online in China over whether video-sharing websites are encouraging excessive behaviour to attract viewers

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 5:00pm
UPDATED : Monday, 02 April, 2018, 5:00pm

A Chinese man was arrested after stealing Mercedes-Benz badges from over a dozen cars one night and filming himself doing it to get more “likes” on a video-sharing website, a news website reported.

Police in Yongkang in Zhejiang province received multiple complaints from Mercedes-Benz owners at about midnight last Wednesday about the thefts, according to Shanghai-based Nbd.com.cn.

The man, whose full name was not given, was tracked down through surveillance camera footage. Police found over a dozen car badges in his flat, the report said.

The man, 25, told police videos showing the theft of car badges were now hugely popular on the Chinese online video platform Douyin.

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He was quoted as saying he thought stealing Mercedes badges would be a good way to boost his videos’ viewership as it only took a few seconds and required no skill.

He drove to the area in his own car, a Chinese Geely Emgrand, and stopped whenever he saw a Mercedes-Benz and filmed himself taking the badges.

Internet users debated whether video sharing websites were encouraging more antisocial, illegal or dangerous behaviour to get more viewers.

“These platforms have let out the worst side of humanity because every one becomes so attention seeking and they just do everything to get likes,” one person commented. “The companies that are running them have an inexcusable responsibility.”

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However, most people commenting said the thief should take all the blame for his actions.

“We watch many things every day, but it doesn’t mean we will simply adopt things we see on screen. It’s obviously just his own problem,” one person said.