Wire thief in suburban Shanghai nabbed

A man has been detained for allegedly stealing over 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) worth of wire from base stations of mobile operators in suburban Shanghai, police said on Tuesday.

A man has been detained for allegedly stealing over 100,000 yuan (US$15,000) worth of wire from base stations of mobile operators in suburban Songjiang District, police said on Tuesday.

Using a backpack, the suspect, surnamed Jia, stole about 40 meters of wire from the base stations each time, and has committed a total of 24 thefts since February this year.

The thefts, which took place in Maogang, Yexie and Xiaokunshan towns, caused disturbances to 4G signals for some users in some instances, but there were no major network failures, police told Shanghai Daily.

Early investigation focused on suspicious vehicle activity around the stations — since usually wire thieves need to use a car to transport the heavy wire — up until when the suspect clearly appeared on surveillance cameras at a base station with a backpack in April.

Ti Gong

The suspect was caught turning on a light at a base station in Songjiang District on June 20.

Ti Gong

The suspect, as seen at the base station.

“We experimented carrying the wire in a backpack and found it was possible to walk with the stolen wires,” said Xi Xuejun, one of the police officers in charge of the case.

After a few months of tracking, police last month caught Jia in an illegal internet café in Songjiang.

Jia has owned up to the thefts and said he had sold the wire on to waste recyclers, police said.


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