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Police probe thief who swanks on Weibo

SHANGHAI police say they are investigating a man who claimed he was a thief and posted photos of his spoils on his Weibo microblog.

The man, identified as Hushang'afei, meaning Shanghai thief in Chinese, was delisted by this afternoon after his posts attracted thousands of hits.

The man opened his Weibo account a week ago, claiming he was a skilled thief and was making a living on subways. He rose to fame instantly after his posts were widely retweeted.

Shanghai police noticed his posts yesterday and began the probe this afternoon.

"Shanghai police are investigating the content of Hushang'afei's posts," the police said on its official microblog this afternoon. "We want to warn that no matter what motivation, no one can violate the law and any illegal act will incur punishment."

However, some people believe the guy might not be a real thief and is just trying to generate a lot of hits with his hype.

Last Wednesday Hushang'afei posted a photo of several stolen wallets and said he pickpocketed eight passengers on Metro Line 8 and earned about 6,000 yuan (US$951). On Thursday he posted another photo of stolen bank cards and said he was going to throw them away as they had become useless.

But the man also claimed that he was a thief of justice and was willing to return stolen items if the victim earned less than 3,000 yuan a month.

"Yes, I am a thief! But you are not qualified to call me thief! I've seen so many people who are rich but immoral," he described himself on the microblog.


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