A 20-year-old man from Yancheng, Jiangsu province was arrested in Nanjing after he’d stolen over 300 cans of Red Bull within four days during a tiring pursuit to find his runaway girlfriend, the Yangtze Evening News reports.
The young man, surnamed Zhang, was studying in Beijing when he met a young woman online in 2012 who he’d claimed was his “soul mate”. The woman lived in Nanjing, so in the summer of 2013, he took his savings of 15,000 yuan and traveled to be with her.
Zhang blew most of his money courting the woman, buying her expensive meals and taking her out. Eventually he began running out of funds. That’s when the woman, who he claimed to be his girlfriend, changed her phone number and disappeared.
Zhang was devastated when he couldn’t find her, but he knew he couldn’t go back home and ask for financial help because he told his parents he was studying in Beijing.
Alone and unable to find a proper job, Zhang was living on the streets in the Jiangning University area. He later told cops that he spent his nights at fast food restaurants and cafes, and sometimes went days without eating.
He began stealing to sustain himself. Zhang said he needed energy to keep looking for his “girlfriend”, who he still insisted was his “true love”.
On February 19, staff at a Jiangning supermarket noticed that there were at least two boxes of Red Bull missing from the store’s shelves. Surveillance footage revealed that a young man had been stealing the drink by the boxes.
On February 21, Zhang had appeared in the store, casually pushing a trolley of Red Bull boxes. Staff immediately recognized him and called the authorities, after which he was arrested. He later told cops that he had simply been tearing the label off the drink boxes and they soon discovered that he’d stolen a total of 396 cans of the energy drink, worth over 2,000 yuan, within four days.
Zhang said that he’d drink up to 10 cans of Red Bull in one day to keep energized during his exhaustive search.
Zhang’s parents are now refusing to visit him behind bars in Nanjing, and sadly, investigative police told reporters that he still talks about his “girlfriend”, whom he hopes to meet up with again.