Planet China

The perfect thief

The last time a cat burglar got so much public sympathy was when Cary Grant played one in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief. In that movie, of course, Grant’s character John Robie was being framed.

Fast forward to modern China and says this time netizens are sympathising with a thief from Sichuan for a different reason: because of his impressive professionalism and dedication to his ‘craft’. When police arrested the thief in question they found among his personal belongings a notebook that included detailed plans of all Chengdu’s police stations, roadworks and bus routes, plus candid evaluations he’d made after each theft as well as a section detailing his ‘principles of crime’. He also made notes on trial runs he made prior to each theft. In his principles, he reminded himself to focus on taking only cash, gold objects and expensive alcohol, and even made a point of making sure the latter wasn’t fake before absconding with it. That said some of the advice to himself was quite cryptic, such as: “Abandon the strategic requirement that a horse must run fast even without grazing and rectify the lazy style of work that one goes fishing for three days and dry the nets for two days.”

Netizens were lavish in their praise for the criminal’s notebook, lamenting he was a great talent “who had taken the wrong path” and might well be, thanks to his work ethic and meticulous planning “the most inspirational thief ever”. Then again, he did get caught…

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