crime

Chinese Man Accused of Stealing Live Chickens to Buy Fuel for His BMW

The man allegedly raided poultry farms in the middle of the night so he could afford petrol for his "thirsty car".

by Gavin Butler
13 June 2019, 6:40am

Image via Wikipedia (L) and Pxhere (R)

Last month, a man in southwestern China was arrested on suspicion of stealing chickens and ducks and selling them to buy petrol for his luxury BMW. Over the course of at least a month, the 50-year-old allegedly raided a number of farms in Linshui, Sichuan province, and took off with their poultry, South China Morning Post reports. Police claim the man came up with the idea when he ran into financial trouble and needed to “subsidise” his spending on petrol. He was quoted as saying that his BMW was “a thirsty car”.

It’s alleged that the suspect—a wealthy farmer who reportedly lives in his own multi-storey villa—usually rode a motorcycle into villages late at night, stocking up on chooks and ducks and taking them back to his property where he would raise them himself before finding a buyer. Times Now News reports that chicken buyers were often spotted outside his house. In the event the suspect was stopped by police on the way back from one of his thefts, he’d simply claim the animals were his own, according to India Times.

The great bird heist of 2019 came to an abrupt end, however, when officers identified the suspect based on footage from surveillance cameras on rural roads. They pursued the chicken thief on May 22—chasing him down in the very car he was moonlighting to fuel.

“He was driving a luxury car and was much faster than us on the motorway,” said Zhang Hua, director of a police station in Linshui county. “We absolutely could not catch him.”

Officers eventually managed to detain the suspect after he left the motorway and took off towards a nearby village, where he was caught on the narrow roads. When police searched the man’s property they found the motorcycle he used for his midnight raids, along with a number of chickens and ducks.

Follow Gavin on Twitter or Instagram

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.