You'd have to agree that when you lose a phone, replacing the device
isn't as painful as rebuilding your list of contacts. That's why this
Chinese thief is so special – he copied over 1,000 contacts on to 11
pages by hand and sent them to the owner of the phone he had stolen.
The $440 iPhone in question belonged to Zou Bin, a barman from
Changsha, capital of the Hunan province. Zou told local media that he
was returning home wasted from his best friend's bachelor party
earlier this month, when the theft occurred. He had passed out in the
taxi taking him home along with three other strangers. Zou isn't
certain which one of them was the culprit.
When Zou discovered that his phone was missing the next morning, he
naturally was furious. The device contained more than 1,000 work
related contacts that he could not afford to lose. So he did the first
thing that came to mind – Zou sent threatening text messages to his
own number from a friend's phone.
In what would later turn out to be a smart move, Zou texted the thief,
"You can be sure that I will find you. Just have a look through my
contacts and you will see who I am. If you are clever, you will send
the mobile back to the following address…"
Of course, Zou wasn't serious, which is why the pickpocket's next move
stunned him. Four days later, he received a package couriered to his
front door. Unfortunately it didn't contain the phone, but it did
carry the next best thing – a handwritten list of Zou's contacts and
his SIM. "All of the numbers were handwritten," said Zou. "It would
take a long time simply to write the numbers 1 to 1,000 let alone all
those names and telephone numbers. It must have given him a swollen
Zou advised that people shouldn't just give up if they lose their
phone. "Sometimes bluffing works," he said. "But it is also best to
save your contacts to your SIM card so you spare the thief some
writing." The thief, whoever he or she is, has become a hero of sorts
in the Chinese media. Internet users are calling him 'the conscience
of the robbery industry'. He's even being compared to model citizen
Lei Feng, member of the People's Liberation Army.
I'm not sure what prompted the thief to do such a thing. Was he
genuinely trying to help Zou, or did he feel threatened by the text
messages? Whatever the reason, it's pretty special what he's done.
Perhaps the poor fellow never meant to steal the phone, but didn't
really have the heart to return it either.