I remember a few years back I saw some kids arguing on a bus about what sort of shop is easiest to steal from. One was saying small shops don't cover all their merchandise (my words not his as I doubt he's ever heard a word with more than two syllables) with cameras. The other was of the opinion that larger shops were easiest to steal from as they were rich enough to let a few little things go. Considering the town I lived in back then was somewhere I fondly referred to as Hell, shoplifting children were actually quite a sweet encounter, and I immediately thought of those two when I read a story from China yesterday. Two thieves on motorbikes snatched a handbag from a woman in China and found out very quickly that, while the rich can indeed afford to be stolen from more than those who aren't rich, it doesn't mean the principle of the thing wont spur them into action even if it wasn't them being stolen from in the first place.
Thirty seven year old Pal Jin Gau and his partner, thirty two year old Lu Han Lee, rode their motorcycle alongside a woman in the Guongdong province in China, snatched her handbag and rode off. It's a story that's played out hundreds of times around the world every day. This time however, a new variable was introduced as the crime was witnessed by Wan Liu, a multi-millionaire well known for his chain of expensive hotels and the vast amounts of cash he donated in 2008 to help victims of the Wenchuan earthquake. Liu, who had been touring the area with his son at the time of the robbery, leapt into his chauffeur-driven limousine and raced off in pursuit of the bike while his son comforted the distraught woman. After a three mile chase they drew level with the bike and Liu ordered his chauffer, a third dan black belt in karate and fully trained bodyguard, to apprehend the crooks. Gau was caught easily, and the handbag recovered, but Lee escaped by jumping into a nearby river, and that's when things get really cool.
Liu, obviously a man who believes that crime shouldn't pay and should be punished even if the stolen item has been retrieved (a man after my own heart), put a call through to the airport and ordered the pilot of his private plane to fly low over the river and find the swimming thief. In an interview after this event Liu explains that he thought the plane flying low would make the robber swim for shore, but instead he kept going as if headed out towards the sea. So then Liu had his private helicopter pick him up and hovered over the spot the man was trying to escape from, staying over him while he made one final call to the crew of his private yacht. The yacht came to the scene at Liu's order and the unluckiest criminal in the world, already exhausted from his ordeal, was hauled on board with ropes and apprehended easily by the crew.