Editor's Note: Most foreigners' most egregious criminal offense during their time in China is earning some extra pocket money teaching English on a student visa. However, some do break more serious laws. Whether it be Shenzhen club kids testing positive for drugs or drunkards beating up taxi drivers, not all expats are law-abiding. In Shanghai, theft by foreign visitors has increased in recent months, which has law enforcement officials concerned. While the blonde lady-in-red who jumped a subway turnstile will walk away with a fine and her face curiously all over national headlines, more serious crimes will result in jail time and deportation. This translated article reports on foreign thieves in Shanghai.
A European man named Younes was tried in Shanghai for theft on Monday. He was sentenced to six months in prison, fined 5,000 Yuan, and deported by a Jing’an district court. A concerned Shanghai judge has recently noted that the number of foreign thieves in Shanghai has increased in the past months.
Busted for Shoplifting
Younes, 21, lived in Europe and speaks German, English, and Arabic. In December 2015, he entered Shanghai on a 60 day tourist visa to stay at a friend’s house. Younes said that he is a travel enthusiast and is unemployed while traveling the world.
On the morning of December 15, the day after Younes arrived in Shanghai, he walked into a foreign clothing store near the city’s Jing’an Temple. He picked out a black leather coat with fur trim priced at 29,400 Yuan and asked the salesperson to get him a larger size from the back of the store. When the salesperson left, Younes ran out the door, coat in hand. Police arrested Younes at his friend’s house later that evening.
Caught Stealing Wallets
This is far from the first foreigner arrest for theft in Shanghai. A son of a wealthy Asian man stole a woman’s purse in Shanghai and withdrew 38,000 Yuan on her credit card. He was found guilty by a Jing’an court and sentenced to three years in prison, fined 10,000 Yuan and deported.
Another young foreigner working in the Shanghai fashion industry was arrested in November for stealing from a young Chinese woman. The perpetrator approached the victim, 25 year old Wei, at a bar in Shanghai and stole her Hermes wallet from her purse when she wasn’t paying attention. The foreigner withdrew 38,000 Yuan from Wei’s bank cards. The stolen wallet itself was worth 10,000 Yuan.
Wei was able to point out the perpetrator from surveillance footage from the bar. The foreigner said in court that they had been drunk at the bar and could not remember what happened. However, when faced with the evidence, he confessed and agreed to compensate the victim for her losses.
Don’t Break the Law!
The number of cases involving foreign thieves in Shanghai is on the rise. A judge from the Jing’an district court said that China welcomes foreigners to come to Shanghai to travel, study, and work, but those who violate Chinese law will be punished.
Source: The Paper
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Keywords: theft rise foreigners foreign thieves Shanghai
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Meanwhile in China, Chengguan gangs are beating up old fruit vendors, taxi drivers are charging foreigners up to three times the going rate, government officials are somehow buying luxury villas on a 7000 a month salary, 'street merchants' hassle me into buying fake watches and stolen phones...I could go on and on.
Mar 10, 2016 10:12 Report Abuse
I think you are missing an opponent. I guess majority of people on this forum agrees with you. If any person, irrespective of nationality, race, religion, sex orientation and citizenship breaks the law so such a person should be adequately punished. Absolutelly correct.
Mar 12, 2016 10:51 Report Abuse
I think there are two Shanghais. One is absolutelly normal city just with much more foreigners than there is in majority of other Chinese cities. The other one you get to know when frequenting bar streets (and drinking heavilly), search for sex or being simply dumb (who would ever go in his/her homecountry with absolute stranger anywhere, believing it will be a bargain or at least great experience ...).
Mar 12, 2016 10:46 Report Abuse
I don't think anyone would deny that Shanghai's nightlife is unsavoury. That's not what I was talking about though. I'm talking about walking down the street in the middle of the day minding your own business and getting heckled by hawkers and scam artists. Things that are common in Hong Kong and Beijing but not something that I have experienced in Shanghai before at least not to the same degree. The thing that shocked me was just the sheer number of people doing it. It was just relentless.
Mar 12, 2016 11:17 Report Abuse
I do not think it's so bad. Exept of Nanjing Road and similar places. So far the only hookers that approached me were 'innocent' QQ messages in Chinese. No other. I also generally do not follow any stranger anywhere. I think Shanghai is OK. Basicallt the whole China is. Either you live a 'normal' life and then you do not come too much in touch with 'underworld' or you live a 'wild' life and then it's of course different ball game ...
Mar 12, 2016 18:13 Report Abuse
I suspect that the number of foreign visitors to Shanghai is on the rise, in which case the number of foreign everything will be on the rise also. This would only be 'news' if the increase in foreigner-perpetrated crime was unfavorably disproportionate increase in foreign visitors.
Mar 08, 2016 20:44 Report Abuse
A city with 24 million people can only point to a case from last year and 2 undated cases of theft as evidence of a rise in foreign theft? First guy was clearly middleeastern but they tell you he lived in Europe as a way of manipulating simple minded readers into thinking he is European. Last 2 were Asian, possibly from Hong Kong. But they use the generic term foreigner in order to try and tarnish westerners. China begs foreign companies and talents to come and help China with the right hand and then slanders them with the left.
Mar 08, 2016 12:32 Report Abuse