Man who stole unattended packages from residential building arrested

The suspect stole the packages after seeing that packages delivered to the residents were stacked in the hall of a residential building with no supervision at night.

A man has been detained for allegedly stealing residents’ packages, Shanghai police said.

The thefts took place in a residential complex on Langao Road, Putuo District in mid-July.

The suspect, surnamed Zhao, 31, worked for a BBQ restaurant and stole the packages several times after realizing they were stacked in the hall of a residential building over night without supervision.

Police confirmed that anyone can enter the residential buildings there and that there is only someone on duty during the day to keep an eye out.

Zhao claimed that he stole one package the first time he delivered food to a resident, returning later to steal two or three more at a time.

He said he threw away all of the package contents because they contained things like children’s playing cards, toys and books that he didn’t need.

Police started their investigation on July 16 when a resident reported the loss of a package.

Zhao said he came to Shanghai from out of town to work just last month. Police said he had no prior criminal record.

Putuo police

A surveillance camera catches Zhao stealing packages on the early morning of July 12.

Putuo police

Zhao admitted that he put the stolen packages in a food delivery bag.

Even though the cost of the stolen packages was only a few hundred yuan, police said he could still face the criminal charge of theft for his repeated behavior. In China, the threshold for criminal conviction of theft is 1,000 yuan (US$150).

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