The good thieves of China

Alia | November 25th, 2013 - 9:49 pm

Who has the best work ethics in China? The answer may just as well be thieves.

2When young lady Yu woke up from a sound sleep on the morning of November 20, she had no idea that her little rented apartment at the edge of Hangzhou suburbs has been visited by a thief. It was only until she received a text message from her bank confirming her bank balance did she noticed that all her valuables include purses, laptop, cash and credit cards have been stolen.

She called local police immediately. To everyone’s surprise, the police found a hand-written note left by the thief in her notebook, giving her advice on how to avoid future burglaries:

“Young lady, these things are left untouched [ID, work permit, membership cards, etc.] because they have no use for me. Please make sure you lock your windows and doors at night because you sleep too soundly! It’s not easy to live alone away from home. I’m just trying to make a living. Please forgive me.”

Apparently, Yu slept through whatever happened that night . “I was very tired and went right to bed after arriving home.” Yu told the police.  

Does the kind advice from the thief make Yu feel any better about her loss? Not really. “It’s indeed not easy to live alone away from home. I can understand why he/she needed the cash. But why my laptop?  It’s not going to be worth much, but the personal data it contains is invaluable to me.” Yu told journalists.

During the same period, a young man named Zou Bin from the city of Changsha in China’s southern province of Hunan also met a “nice” thief.

On November 15, Zou, slightly drunk after a friends’ wedding in a nearby city, got on an illegal taxi together with 3 strangers. He dozed off during the entire trip and when he got off the car, his iPhone 4 was gone.

Furious that he had not only lost his iPhone but also the 1000+ contacts, Zou called his own number several times and also send a few threatening text messages. “I know you are the guy who sat next to me on the taxi. You can count on me finding you!” Zou wrote in one of the messages.

The iPhone is gone for good, but the threats did work. A couple of days later on the 19th, Zou received a package at home, in which there were his SIM card and 11 pages of paper containing each and every contact stored on the stolen device, including names, numbers and emails. All were handwritten. That’s a hell lot of writing for a phone worth some $400.

Putting the two news together, many Chinese netizens could help but call these two thieves the “conscience of stealing.” Like one netizen 清雅2013 joked: “They are professionals with good work ethics.”

Note left to young lady Yu by a thief

Note left to young lady Yu by a thief

11 pages of contacts mailed back by phone thief

11 pages of contacts mailed back by phone thief



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