It’s a crime that will leave you scratching your head. Two men were arrested for stealing cement from a public road in China. The entire top layer of the road was stripped by the men using a excavator. The men then sold the cement slabs to make a personal profit.
The story made headlines in Nantong, China as newspapers reported, “the whole 410m of it – ‘stolen’ in just two days.” According to Guancha, a Shanghai-based news portal, the rural road in Nantong city, about 130km north-west of Shanghai, was completed in 2008 and was in good condition.
That is until the theft was discovered by a villager. The concerned citizen saw the damaged road and called authorities to ask them why the road was in such horrible condition. This urged police to review the street’s camera, which uncovered footage of a farm vehicle hauling away the concrete slabs. The officers traced the ownership of the vehicle back to one of the men. Named Gru, the man confessed to the crime and cited a strange reason for the theft.
“As this road was not often used, I thought I might as well dig out some stuff and make some money.”
Gru and a friend used a truck and an excavator to get two tons of concrete from the road. The job took two days and made them more than $2,000. Unfortunately, the men were arrested before they were able to split up the profits.
Despite their road being destroyed, the citizens of Nantong found the crime amusing. Once villager said the crime took some serious creativity.
“The level of sophistication of China’s thieves is rising, considering that some ‘jobs’ involve special skills. But this one seems to be a case of much ado for a pittance.”