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January 13, 2011

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Power point thwarted hapless ATM thief

A BUNGLING would-be thief with a plastic bag over his head as a disguise abandoned a bid to force open an ATM machine using an electric drill when he couldn't find a suitable power point, a court heard yesterday.

Undaunted, Sun Fucheng, 22, returned twice - again without success - before finally being detained by police, Hongkou District People's Court was told.

The court heard the sum involved was more than 800,000 yuan (US$121,114). Sun pled guilty to theft, even though he got nothing, but claimed he was not trying to steal the amount prosecutors claimed.

"I just planned to take some of the money inside the machine, not all," said Sun, defending himself in court.

Prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison. The court didn't hand down a verdict.

Sun told the court he decided to steal because his money and cell phone were stolen when he visited the China Pavilion at the Expo on September 26. After buying an electric drill, Sun went to a self-service area of the Hongkou sub-branch of the Agricultural Bank of China early on October 17.

Placing a plastic bag over his head as a disguise, Sun used a stick to point a surveillance camera in another direction. But when he tried to plug in the drill, he found its plug didn't match the socket. He went back to the same ATM two days later after modifying the plug but failed again, this time because there was no power in the socket.

Sun returned a third time on October 24. Police caught him just after he plugged in the drill, the court heard. There was 864,200 yuan in the ATM during the attempted thefts.


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