A man caught on camera in Zhengzhou pickpocketing a cellphone from a cyclist by using a pair of chopsticks turned himself in and likely will get off easy.
When photos of the incident were posted on the local Da He Newspaper earlier this week, the man came forward to a Da He reporter and then turned himself in to local police.
The man, surnamed Wang, who agreed to be interviewed on the condition that his first name is not revealed, is from a small town in the central Chinese province of Henan. He came to Zhengzhou, the capital of Henan province, eight years ago to make money, but he became addicted to drugs and his wife divorced him. He is raising their 12-year-old alone.
After beating his addiction and making a bit of money selling Chinese yams on the street, Wang thought he’d finally turned his life around. He purchased a small yam shop with 60,000 yuan ($9,690), his entire savings. After a month or so of operation, his shop was inexplicably torn down. Wang tried to appeal to the landlords, but no one gave him an answer.
“I was so poor after that,” Wang said, “The thievery was an impulse. I just wanted to make a little extra for my family’s use. I sold the phone in a hurry after stealing it, for 60 yuan ($9.69).”
Because Wang turned himself in, both the police and the woman who was robbed indicated they are inclined toward leniency.
Sophie is a graduate of Northwestern University. She covers the emerging markets in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in foreign investment in the region....