This guy’s 11 handwritten pages might just make up for the iPhone he stole

The iPhone thief with a conscience.

 

Audra Schroeder

Crime

Published Nov 25, 2013   Updated Jun 1, 2021, 1:12 am CDT

Just in time for the holidays: the tale of a iPhone thief, his frustrated victim, and the contact list that brought them together.

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The theft happened earlier this month in China, in the central province of Hunan, where a man named Zou Bin was sharing a taxi with the future thief. Once he realized his iPhone was missing, and that the man next to him in the taxi was responsible, he sent off an ominous text message:

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“I know you are the man who sat beside me. I can assure you that I will find you.”

After channeling Liam Neeson, Zou Bin informed the thief that he works in the pub industry, which has alleged links to gangs in China. He was also worried about losing his list of 1,000-plus contacts, which were not backed up.

The thief decided not to return the phone. Instead, perhaps fearing a gang beatdown, he sent Zou the phone’s SIM card, along with a handwritten 11-page list of his contacts. A report on the theft states that “Chinese Internet users gave the thief plaudits for his efforts, dubbing him ‘the conscience of the (theft) industry.’”

Two strangers, brought together by data. Seriously, Hollywood, get on this story. Maybe you can have the thief send him one handwritten contact every day for a year, just like in the Notebook.

Photo via Yutaka Tsutano/Flickr

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*First Published: Nov 25, 2013, 2:57 pm CST