A wealthy farmer from China’s Sichuan province has been arrested for allegedly stealing chickens and ducks from several villages in Linshui county in order to buy gas for his “thirsty” $290,000 BMW.
Police in Linshui had been getting reports of chickens and ducks getting stolen from several villages in the county since April, but never expected the culprit to be one of the richest farmers in the area, a man who happens to live in a multi-story villa and drives a 2 million yuan luxury BMW.
Apparently, it was the latter that pushed Qiang (pseudonym) to a life of petty crime, as after running into financial woes, he found it tough to afford gas for his gorgeous BMW. So he started stealing people’s domestic birds, breeding them on his farm, and selling them off for gas money.
After receiving multiple complaints, police opened an investigation into the poultry thefts. After checking surveillance tapes, they noticed someone riding a motorcycle with no license plates at late hours of the night.
They started monitoring the roads 24/7 and eventually spotted that same suspicious motorcycle. After following it from afar, the cops saw the bike pull into Qiang’s home, but they didn’t have enough evidence to connect the man to the thefts, so they decided to place his home under surveillance.
The Chengdu Business Daily reports that chicken dealers were often spotted at Qiang’s villa, but police concluded that they were not complicit in the thefts. They were just there to buy birds that they assumed the farmer had raised himself. After gathering enough evidence, authorities decided to bring Qiang in for questioning, They tried pulling him over in traffic, but somehow the poultry thief realized something was wrong and used his powerful BMW to get away.
“He was driving a luxury car, and it was much faster than hours, so we couldn’t catch up to him on the highway,” Zhang Hua, director of the Yuan City Police Station, told reporters. Luckily, Qiang didn’t know his house was under surveillance, so he didn’t expect the cops to be waiting for him. When they searched the premises, they found the bike that showed up on the surveillance as well as a bunch of stolen chickens and ducks.
Confronted by the police the 50-year-old farmer admitted to the thefts, explaining that his 2 million yuan BMW was really “thirsty” and because his financial situation wasn’t very good at the moment, he turned to stealing and then selling chickens and ducks to subsidize his monthly fuel expenditure.
Qiang has been detained and faces charges of theft. His story got a lot of attention on social media, with many poking fun at the man for turning to petty crime just so he could drive a luxury car.
“Welcome to China, where the rich steal birds and the poor fight for 99 yuan ($14) shirts at Uniqlo,” one Weibo user commented.
“Sounds like an auntie eating noodles on a cruise,” someone else wrote.