Industrious criminal charged with making off with 800 meters of road.

The state-run China News Service reported on 1 February the arrest of a man identified as “Zhu” by media for a truly unique theft.

On 24 January, several residents of a village in Jiangsu Province noticed some unannounced road work taking place as an 800-meter (half-mile) stretch of street had been removed. However, after no such work was found to have been authorized, police began to investigate.

According to authorities, Zhu had borrowed a front-end-loader and truck to peel off the concrete street and transport its pieces to a nearby stoneworks to sell. In total he made off with 500 tons of concrete which he sold for 5000 yuan (US$793).

Readers online in China and abroad were surprised by the robber’s ingenuity, but some less so by his possible financial acumen.

“If I could single-handedly remove 800 meters of road, I would try to pursue a more constructive way to make money.”
“That’s a great idea and effort. He could do it in broad daylight and who would even think he was stealing.”
“But with that kind of weight the cost of gas would have really dug into his profit.”
“Poverty makes people very innovative.”
“The most appropriate punishment would be to make him fix the road.”
“He only got 90,000 yen? That’s poor cost-performance.”

Zhu reportedly explained to police that because a new street had just opened nearby, no one would miss the one he stole. “It was a business opportunity,” he added.

While we cannot condone theft nor vigilante urban planning, Zhu has shown a certain eye for opportunity that, with the right guidance, could make him a successful business person. If only he could somehow manage to team up with that genius who figured out to sell menstrual pads to college men in Chongqing.

Source: AFP BB News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)