We know some of you actually hope that Disneyland comes to Shanghai, but if you see Donald Duck around town these days, don’t get too excited: it’s just the Shanghai Police:
Police dressed as Donald Duck and other cartoon figures put on plays and handed out leaflets yesterday to warn residents about the growing numbers of thefts ahead of the Spring Festival.
The three characters they dressed up as are the Monkey King, Donald Duck, and Captain Black Cat (黑毛警长).
The police seem to have their hands full these days: Recently, a man said to have misappropriated 700,000 RMB has surrendered and given himself up to Shanghai police after being on the run and hiding out (in Tibet among other places) for over two months. The man said he was a former accountant, and that because of his gambling addiction, he slipped 700,000 RMB into his own pocket and then went on the run. Then one day, he saw a TV show called 《道德与观察》 which translates to something like “Morality and Observation” and is essentially an investigative crime report show.
The man was so moved by a story he saw on the show that he felt wracked by guilt and began thinking about turning himself in. However, he wasn’t that ready, so he decided to put some messages on various internet BBSs, including Tianya, where he declared he was a criminal on the lam and didn’t know what to do. He said that he was sick of living on the run and guilty about all that he had put his family (parents, wife, kid) through.
Over the next few days, tons of people sent him information, advice, and comments. Some claimed they were lawyers or law enforcement, and finally, he made contact with a police officer in Shanghai and agreed to come to Shanghai and turn himself in.
Shanghai’s Xinmin news managed to get a hold of him using popular internet messaging service QQ. They waited a long time before finally getting a “ring” from the guy, and you can read in the report transcript of the conversation that followed.
What is interesting is the role the internet played in all of this. The interviewer says as much himself, asking questions like “the internet and the BBS were a help to your in this process, weren’t they,” to which the “criminal,” known simply by his handle of “abcshamo,” replies that he had no idea how many “hidden dragons and crouching tigers”—i.e., people with legal or law enforcement related expertise—on the internet.
In fact, it really seems as if, after the TV show, it was the internet and the encouragement and help he received there, that finally allowed him to make up his mind and turn himself in.