Last week, The Beijing News reported on a rather ingenious group of robbers that preyed on the homes of Communist Party officials for two years with little attention from police. Because the robberies—sometimes involving sums of more than a million yuan—were almost never reported.
Before breaking in, the robbers painstakingly researched the lives of their targets. Not just to determine their routines and assets, but to discover rather that they were corrupt, since they surmised that dirty officials would be somewhat hesitant to report the theft of their tons of cash.
Oh boy, were they ever right on the money. Police said the group broke into the homes of 50 officials in five counties between 2010 and 2012, coming away with millions of yuan in cash as well as bars of gold and pieces of jade (no porn reported). They were like Robin Hood, without the re-gifting.
The brains of the operation was Wang Shengli, 34, a gambling, primary school dropout from Zhumadian county in Henan, where many of the robberies took place. Wang formulated the plan and recruited his band of merry men while in prison. The crime spree began in 2010. The gang robbed four officials’ homes in Henan, taking in more than three million yuan. As suspected, the victims didn’t contact the police.
However, at the end of 2012, one of the robbed officials did call the cops and the gang was caught by highway police a few weeks later in a car with their loot—tens of thousands of RMB in cash, six gold bars and 40 pieces of jade.
Their capture and investigation has become inconvenient to the officials who had their property stolen, but now are very reluctant to step forward and reclaim it. One such troubled official is Zhao Xinghua, Communist Party chief of Zhengyang county in Henan. Zhao denied having a million yuan stolen from his house by the gang, saying it was more like a couple thousand yuan. The police officers, under pressure from Zhao, marked it down as 6,040 RMB.
Zhao and the police officers are under investigation. Want China Times also reported that some police officers have taken some of the stolen, dirty money, since somebody might as well use it.
by Alex Linder
[Image by @davidden]