Talk about a poor return on investment. A Shaanxi thief has wasted more money paying his accomplices than he actually won from the lottery tickets he stole, according to China Daily.
After stealing from a lottery store in Yulin, Shaanxi province, the man escaped with tickets to the value of 40,000 RMB (US$6,500). Anticipating highly-lucrative winnings and hoping to expedite the process, the man commissioned two accomplices to help him scratch the lottery tickets, paying them 1,000 RMB (US$160).
However, while the thief was most likely deciding what costume he would wear to collect his winnings, the police were investigating the robbery and quickly tracked him down. By the time he was arrested, the man had only found two winning tickets, worth a measly 20 and 80 RMB each, still well in arrears of the amount he owed his two abettors.
Aside from reveling in the irony, we take great satisfaction from stories of luckless larcenists and their often comedic undoings, mainly because it appeals to our sense of karma, which was exactly the case when this Shandong robber was busted upon returning from a temple where he was (you guessed it) giving thanks for not being caught. Stealing lottery tickets in China really is one of the most ill-conceived schemes, especially since they are immediately blacklisted and their winnings cannot be claimed. A fellow harebrained thief in Wuhan was caught before he even scratched a single ticket, then hilariously claimed police “shattered my unfinished dream”.
Aspiring villains ought to be concocting more ingenious plans if they hope to get away with their crimes, much like this adroit pickpocket who managed to steal an iPhone using chopsticks.
By Liam Bourke