Jewel thief in China hid in mall overnight, nabbed in the morning

A man attempted to steal jewels worth more than $160,000 from a shopping mall in Shenzhen, China, in early morning but was caught before he was able to escape from the building, the publication chinaview.com reports.

Police reportedly caught the thief within 20 minutes of receiving the theft report on July 6, the publication reports. The man had made a pair of trousers in the mall, located in the Futian District, into a rope but was afraid to climb down from the third floor of the building by using it.

The suspect, 26, surnamed Li, reportedly said he had no idea how much the jewels were worth.

Li had reportedly hidden in the emergency staircase of the shopping mall since 8:30 p.m. the night before and stole the jewels around 3 a.m. He then reportedly stole clothes from the shopping mall to hold jewelry and hid again in the emergency staircase waiting for the mall to open in the morning.

It took salespeople three hours to categorize several hundred pieces of jewelry with the most precious piece being a sapphire pendant worth approximately $4,350.

Li reportedly said he was a hairdresser before a gambling addiction cost him his job. He lost approximately $1,000 and had no means to repay the debts.