Five men who were caught on suspicion of theft last Wednesday were paraded through the streets of Guizhou after several cultural relics were stolen from a local temple.
According to Sina, since learning about the theft back in October police launched an investigation into the case. Authorities were able to track down and return all the stolen relics to the temple in Yelang town of Tongzi county this past Thursday.
Reports state that the five thieves were found hiding in various cities across China. All confessed to the charges following interrogation.
According to heritage experts, the history of the stolen relics, including a pair of stone lions and Buddha statue, can be traced back over 400 years. Local villagers say the temple was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution but the lions survived intact.
Villagers told reporters that the stone lions have been handed down from generation to generation and have the ability to exorcise demons and bring good luck.
Four of the five are now in custody while one was released on bail.
By Lucy Liu
[Images via Sina]