Seeking a new phone she could not afford, a woman in China bit off more than she could chew when she stole an iPhone from an Apple store – after gnawing through the anti-theft cord with her bare teeth.
In surveillance camera footage that has been circulated online, the woman – identified by her surname Qiu – can be seen entering what appears to be an electronics store and making a beeline for the phones.
After placing one phone that is in her hand on the display tabletop, she can be seen trying out one of the phones on display. After some time, she stops to make furtive glances, seemingly to check if anyone else is watching her.
Apparently the only person in that section of the store, she then begins to chew on a cord that secures one of the phones to its display stand. Unbelievably, she succeeds in severing the cord and stuffs both phones in her bag before exiting the store.
The theft occurred at an Apple store on Aug 8 in Fuzhou, capital city of south-eastern province Fujian, according to China’s Toutiao News.
The woman’s actions triggered an alarm, but the store’s service staff who were attending to other customers thought that it was a false alarm and shut it off. It was only after she left that one employee noticed the phone was gone and made a police report.
According to Chinese media, the police used a combination of facial recognition and tracking analysis to locate the thief before arresting her at her residence – all in around 30 minutes.
The woman reportedly had just stepped into her home and did not have a chance to use the stolen device, an Apple iPhone 14 Plus that was priced at 7,000 yuan (S$1,304).
Qiu told the police that she lost her phone and had intended to purchase a replacement. However, she decided to steal it instead after baulking at the price which she found unaffordable.
Qiu faces a three-year jail term and a 200,000 yuan fine.
While most online observers were incredulous at her audacity to attempt the theft in the presence of surveillance cameras, some expressed surprise that she managed to sever the cord with her gnashers.
“Were her teeth sharpened with a whetstone?” remarked a user on video-sharing platform Douyin.