From Jinling Evening News | translated by Jue
Citizens: bikes are frequently stolen in the supermarket parking lot
Mr. Zhang, 43, lives in Jiangning District of Nanjing. One day of late January this year, he went to Oushang Supermarket with his wife as usual, and parked his electric bike in the parking lot. He especially put two locks on the bike in case theft as he’d heard that bike thieves are often spotted here.
When Mr. Zhang and his wife carried the goods and came back to the parking lot after an hour later, “where’s my electric bike?” Mr. Zhang was shocked. They searched for it several times in the parking lot but found nothing, so they believed the bike was stolen. Quite a few people also shared the same experience. As the reporter learned, there were frequent bike and electric bike theft cases in the Oushang Supermarket parking lot and the vicinity of Hedingqiao, a station in the Metro line 1, which makes those who ride subway or going to the supermarket miserable.
20 pregnant women were caught for stealing electric bikes
“How can we just do nothing about the bike thefts?” the police were very helpless for this matter.
On day of mid-February, the police station in the area received a report from someone that an electric bike parked in a supermarket parking lot was stolen. After receiving the alarm, the police reviewed the surveillance video. They found a young woman dressed in dark blue with a bulged belly appeared in the spot many times. She looked like a pregnant woman and could be the suspect.
In the afternoon of February 22nd, a undercover patrolman found a woman wandering in the supermarket parking lot and acting suspiciously. Moreover, she fitted the description of the wanted suspect. In the evening, when the woman saw nobody was around, she started to pick the lock of an electric bicycle. The police immediately stepped up and caught her.
After the investigation, it turned out that this woman, Lee, was 23 years old, from Fuyang City, Anhui Province who had been pregnant for 4 months at that time. She confessed all the electric bike thefts she had committed in the parking lots of large supermarkets, subway stations and other areas which were worth total over 20 thousand yuan.
The police said they had arrested over dozens of bike thieves like this. But what made them confused was that the pregnant women accounted for a large proportion of the bike thieves they caught. “Nearly 20 pregnant women who stole bikes were caught by our police station last year alone,” a policeman told the reporter.
Why was the female thief set free?
Mr. Zhang, whose electric bike was stolen, told the reporter that the police station informed him the bike thief had been caught a month later after his electric bike was stolen. When he hurried to the police station, he ran into that female bike thief accidentally.
To his surprise, the female thief had a bulged belly and looked as if she was pregnant. Mr. Zhang felt curious, “why the pregnant woman hanged around to steal bikes instead of staying at home resting?”
The policeman told him the electric bike had not been recovered. Mr. Zhang felt kind of disappointed but still happy about the arrest of the bike thief.
However, Mr. Zhang was surprised when he again went to Oushang Supermarket in mid-March and found a pregnant woman with a bulged belly was walking around. After a closer look, he was sure this woman was the female thief who stole his electric bike!
This time Mr. Zhang wondered, “Wasn’t this female thief arrested? Why was she set free? Moreover, she didn’t learn his lesson, and even continue to steal bikes again.”
For this, the police admitted that such situation exists. Some pregnant women stealing bikes were caught several times but were released in the end. “We have no other way to deal with them!” they said.
Professionalization: The reason to get pregnant is to steal electric bikes
Through a careful study, the police found a surprising phenomenon among the pregnant women arrested.
Lee, the female bike thief caught by the police on the afternoon of February 22nd, was only 23 years old, but she had been an acquaintance of the police. One day of late August last year, Lee went to the parking lot of Oushang Supermarket alone with some tools. When she was picking lock on an electric bicycle because no one was around, she was caught by the police in the act.
After the arrest, the police found Lee had been pregnant for 4 months. Faced with the police’s interrogation, Lee only admitted this theft that day but denied others. Due to the fact that she was pregnant then, the police offered bail and released her.
However on February 22nd when Lee was caught again because of electric bike theft, the police found that she had been pregnant for 4 months still.
The police felt most puzzled, so they calculated the time and concluded that she should have been given birth in February if she had been pregnant for 4 months by the end of last August. But this time she was found to be pregnant for 4 months. It didn’t make any sense, what happened?
Finally Lee told the truth that she had an abortion 6 months into her pregnancy and got pregnant again. “I’m going to abort this one month later and get pregnant again.”
Actually in order to steal electric bikes, Lee got pregnant and then had the abortion certain months later and soon got pregnant again. She did it repeatedly, utilizing her identity as a pregnant woman to commit bike thefts.
Difficult to enforce the law: Being caught and then released, the pregnant women are still stealing
In an interview with the reporter, the policeman who handled the cases said according to the law and regulations in China, they shouldn’t arrest the women who are in the period of pregnancy or lactation. Instead, they could offer bail and organize a pending trial or handle it another way. In the course of handling the cases, there is no way to imprison those pregnant thieves once they get caught. “After all, electric bike theft is a small case rather than the major one like murder. The house of detention doesn’t take the pregnant women, for it will cause serious trouble if something happens,” he added.
Therefore, most pregnant women would be subjected by the police station to administrative detention or the bail and pending trial rather than punishment. Either a guarantor or money is needed if you accept the bail and the pending trial, but if the pregnant women insist they have no money or find no one to vouch for them, the police station will have no choice but to release them.
According to the police, some gangs of thieves just make use of this loophole, specially recruiting pregnant women to commit thefts which leads to the forming of the vicious pattern of “catch, release and steal”, what’s worse, the organizer hides himself very deeply so that the police have difficulty catching him.
Among the pregnant women caught, some showed a very aggressive attitude, saying that the police had no way to deal with them even they caught them. “The purpose of our pregnancy is for convenient thefts. Otherwise, we are not going to get pregnant. We all have learned the law, knowing that the pregnant women won’t get punishment,” they claimed without any repentance.