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Top Developer Arrested for Bank Robbery in China

Here's a story you don't hear every day. Shi Erqun, a top developer in Zhumadian city in central China's Henan province, was arrested for a bank robbery 16 years ago.

Shi confessed to being the mastermind of a Dec. 5, 1999, robbery, where he and four others held up a cooperative bank in Zhengzhou, taking $2.08B yuan ($327k) cash, the Wall Street Journal reports. He told local press that the robbery took no more than five minutes, and that he and his accomplices used five revolvers and two hammers, shooting at a security guard and smashing glass partitions to grab the money. Shi also admits he fired two warning shots to scare a woman he noticed trying to make a phone call.

The perpetrators split in different directions afterwords, with Shi riding off on a bicycle to look like a regular worker. Shi received 1M yuan, which he used to buy land in Zhumadian. The other four received 250k yuan each.

Since that time, Shi's business has done well, earning him 20M to 30M yuan a year in good times, and even landing him in the top spot of successful entrepreneurs in his district in 2009. But in the back of his mind, he always worried about getting caught, a day that ultimately came last week. As for silver linings, after only sleeping an hour his first night in jail, he slept very well the second night. [WSJ]

Related Topics: Shi Erqun