A man suspected of stealing chickens and ducks in southwestern China to maintain gas for his costly BMW has been arrested.
The man, identified only as a wealthy 50-year-old farmer, had been stealing the birds from villages in Linshui county, Sichuan province since April, police charged.
The farmer, who lives in a multistory villa, allegedly began stealing the winged poultry after running into financial woes and needing to “subsidize” his spending on gas, according to the Chengdu Business Daily.
Speaking to reporters, he described his BMW, which costs 2 million yuan (about $290,000), as a “thirsty” vehicle.
According to police, the farmer carried out his thievery on a motorcycle late at night.
They eventually identified him after studying surveillance footages on the rural roads.
He was almost caught on May 22, but authorities simply could not reach his car.
“He was driving a luxury car and it’s just much faster, so we can’t catch up,” police director Zhang Hua said.
After taking the chickens and ducks, the man reportedly transported them to his residence for breeding.
As soon as the birds were fit to be sold, he arranged transactions with potential buyers.
The unusual story of a rich man stealing fowls to keep his luxury car going has drawn mixed reactions on Chinese social media.
Weibo users commented:
“Two million yuan?!”
“Sounds like an auntie eating noodles on a cruise.”
“I have a reason to believe that his car also came from ill-gotten wealth.”
“Life must be so boring for this man for him to steal chickens and ducks.”
“Welcome to China, where the rich steal birds and the poor fight for 99 yuan ($14) shirts at Uniqlo.”