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‘I would be letting down my art if I didn’t steal it’: phone thief in China

A man arrested for stealing a cellphone at a metro station in central China said he would have let himself down not to do so, news portal Ctdsb.net reported.

A woman called the railway police station, in Wuhan, Hubei province, last week to report her mobile phone had been stolen at the Chongren station.

A 56-year-old man was arrested at his home two days later, after a police investigation.

The man, who was not named, first denied the theft but confessed after seeing the police evidence.

Surveillance footage showed the woman exiting an electronic turnstile at the station with her mobile phone protruding from her pocket. The man took the phone while she was swiping her transit card, in less than two seconds.

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He was quoted as saying, “At first I wasn’t planning to steal anything, but when I saw the woman’s phone sticking out, I thought if I didn’t steal it, I would be letting down myself and my art.”

The man had been arrested four times in the past 10 years for stealing, with a number of those thefts taking place on the Wuhan metro.