Man jailed for stealing 1m yuan from an unlocked car

The recidivist thief targeted potentially wealthy drivers. He has been sentenced to 11 and half years behind bars.

A recidivist thief who stole over 1 million yuan (US$150,730) from an unlocked car in downtown Jing’an District has been sentenced to 11 and half years behind bars.

The burglary occurred on June 2 in the garage of the Jing’an Kerry Center when the thief, surnamed Lin, decided to target a BMW SUV whose trunk was unlocked, Jing’an prosecutors said.

The 36-year-old took out a heavy bag and fled into the street, where he opened the bag and was shocked to find bundles of cash, valued at just over 1 million yuan.

“The sum was well beyond my expectation. I hesitated for 15 minutes, wondering whether I should give it back,” Lin said.

Finally, he decided to run away with the ill-gotten fortune. He rented a luggage locker in Longemont Shopping Mall, deposited the bag and fled to nearby Jiaxing City. On June 4, he took a bus to his home town — Quanzhou City, Fujian Province.

He didn’t go back home. Instead, he stayed at a local hotel, where he was caught by police. At the time, he had spent 38,000 yuan paying his debts, prosecutors said.

Lin said he became addicted to gambling after graduating from university. In October last year, he was jailed for theft, and he was released last April. But he couldn’t get over his gambling addiction and failed to find a job. He still owes more than 800,000 yuan, prosecutors said.

Lin was sentenced to 11 and half years and fined 100,000 yuan. He has returned most of the stolen money to the victim, according to Jing’an District People’s Court.

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