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April 14, 2010

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Movie-style safecracker pleads guilty

A MIGRANT worker who allegedly stole more than 640,000 yuan (US$93,700) by cutting into a safe in a big furniture store pleaded guilty yesterday at a court hearing.

Prosecutors suggested a sentence of 10 to 13 years for Zhang Rongxing, a 29-year-old Hunan Province native, for the huge amount of stolen money.

Putuo District People's Court didn't deliver a verdict after the hearing.

Zhang told the court he decided to steal from the Putuo outlet of Macalline for revenge because he was fired after a six-month probation period.

Zhang started to work in the furniture store in April 2009 as an electrician and was dismissed last October for incapability.

"My parents were building a house in my home town and my father was sick. I was in urgent need of money at that time," the defendant said at the hearing. "The store even refused to pay me compensation for the dismissal, so I wanted to take revenge."

He went into the store before the closing time on November 29 and hid behind the stair near the accounting office, after putting the tools he'd prepared - an oxygen cutter, a screwdriver, an oxygen cylinder and a spray gun - into the air-conditioning room, prosecutors said.

After midnight, Zhang climbed through the ventilation pipe to the top of the accounting office. He opened the board over the office and jumped down. He spray-painted the surveillance camera black, then used the oxygen cutter to cut one of the six safes open, prosecutors alleged.

"I got the hint to cut the safe in this way from a movie," Zhang said.

Zhang allegedly took out 645,628 yuan from the safe and left from the store's basement. He hid the money in a hotel and bought a cell phone and two suitcases with the money.

Two days later, he was caught in the hotel.


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