Straw Hat Burglar Steals Over 500k RMB from Bank ATM Machine

Chinese "Straw Hat Burglar" trying to break into ATM machines.

The following video has been viewed over 1.3 million times on popular Chinese video sharing website Youku in addition to being posted on popular Chinese discussion forums and social networks…

From Youku:

Bank surveillance camera captures “straw hat burglar” stealing from bank. 500,000 in loot hidden in fish pond, ultimately captured!

Translation and summary of the Chinese in the above video:

The bank burglar is 61-year-old Luo Yuanbing, an illiterate rural farmer in Guangan of Sichuan province who has often been punished by authorities for stealing before. The surveillance camera footage shows that at 2:25am in the early morning of 2010 July 18th, Luo entered a self-help bank (a branch with ATM machines) three times, wearing a straw hat. Within 30 seconds, he has pried open the metal rolling door beside the ATM machines.

Minutes later at 2:37am, he is recorded entering the back room where the ATM machines are filled with cash for the first time. He inspects the machines but at 2:38am, he leaves the room for a moment but very quickly returns, this time holding a vegetable knife/cleaver. At 2:41, the bank’s alarm suddenly sounds.

Chinese "Straw Hat Burglar" using a pair of pliers.

At 3:47am, the man in the straw hat enters the cash refilling back room again, this time with a few more items including an umbrella, basket, and a bag. In addition to his crow bar and vegetable knife, this time he even uses a pair of pliers but is still unable to open the cash machines.

At 4:07am, the straw hat bank thief tries to open the other machine, and successfully opens it in 10 minutes. After stuffing the cash into his bag, he leaves the self-help bank at 4:19am.

Chinese "Straw Hat Burglar" leaving with over 500k RMB in cash stolen from the ATM machine.

The rest of the video shows the Luo Yuanbing explaining how he determined that there was money to steal from the ATM machines and that he had buried the stolen money in a high pressure cooker pot in a pond at home. He had stolen over 500,000 RMB but 379,700 was counted of the money recovered.

Over 370k RMB of stolen cash from a Chinese bank ATM, hidden in a high pressure cooker buried in a pond.

Comments from NetEase:


Brave and resourceful. Less than 100 yuan in costs. Truly prostrating myself in admiration.


If he had first checked out the surveillance cameras and avoided being caught on camera, then this would’ve been very successful.


Ladies and gentleman, a bamboo hat, a crowbar, a vegetable knife, a basket, and an umbrella! This actually is an extremely perfect plan, but with regards to the surveillance camera issue, I think this old farmer simply didn’t use the umbrella properly!


The problem is that the police were called but after nearly two hours neither the police or relevant personnel had arrived. This alarm is only there to frighten the cowardly. I have to admire the old man for his tireless spirit!


Old man, I truly feel regret for you! Why did you have to give away where you stashed the money? You’re already 61 years old, how many years do you have left (and it was a bitter/hard life in the first place). Wouldn’t it have been the same 10-something years [of jail] whether you told them or not? Who knows if you’d still have any life left after 10-something years! Just wait until you’re on your deathbed to tell your son so your son can become wealthy. I think a lot of people would support you if you did that!!


Yeah, why not just say your tossed [the money] while getting away? Several hundreds of thousands [of money] is nothing, just a few meals for government leaders. This honest old man.


I want to say two things.
First: When a metal pole + vegetable knife is enough to successfully steal money from a bank, and the alarm even sounds in the middle but no one comes to stop you, it shows the possibility that the people in the bank intentionally induced the crime.
Second: If it were me, I would’ve said he stole 5 million. This way, they [the bank] won’t have to make up false expenses to cover an entire year’s worth of vacationing abroad this year.


The bank’s alarm goes off at 2am, but the old man comes back again at 3am. Is the alarm only good for scaring little children?


Pro/master, first-rate technique, first-rate boldness, first-rate experience.


A metal rod alone is able to pry open a rolling shutter door… Someone must’ve taken a kickback again.


That’s why it is said that everything made in China is shanzhai.


Masters often come from among the common people, are obscure and unknown, but can do earth-shattering feats…haha.


A metal rod and a vegetable knife are enough to steal from a bank? Only in China could such an amazing thing happen.


Those big-time thieves in American blockbusters sure look like fools now when our farmers can steal from banks single-handedly with only tens of kuai in [equipment] costs.


In this you show your ignorance. It is only domestically made ATM machines that are of this quality. With the imported ATM machines in the early days, you could be given the best equipment but still be unable to open them.

Luo Yuanbing, arrested by the police for burglary and theft of an bank ATM machine.

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  • Cardaver

    I was rooting for him…

    • mr. weiner

      little guy against the system, we we’re all rooting for him.

      • terroir


        everyone in China is a little guy; they are all against the system — the one that they all unaminously depend upon and require for culture and prosperity.

        The only thing small fish want to be is big fish, so they can then swallow the little fish with impunity.

        • DRaY

          “small fish want to be is big fish, so they can then swallow the little fish with impunity.”

          Sounds like Americans to me… LoL.

    • ImmortalTechnique

      I can’t believe they used BOTH the Metal Gear soundtrack AND the Star Trek siren. Too goddamn funny.

  • Dave in Macau

    Let’s hope that Chinese jails are as easy to defeat.

  • terroir

    I do not condone crime, thuggery, or any form of becoming a “baddie”. However, if a life of crime will inspire farmers to don chappeaus and dandy long coats, then please let all rural dwellers become jet-setting burgular thievers.

  • Kedafu

    Song of the Article

    -Pink Floyd

    • jughound

      Yes thank you very much Kedafu.

      Link to a ten minute clip of creativity, ingenuity, spontaneity, virtuosity, and genius, with a relaxed tightness among the musicians and genuine smiles on all appreciated by an audience which requires no prompts to applaud and which quietly listens during the solos.

      All of which is non-existent in Commie China.

      To be generous (on a good day) I’d like to believe the Chinese are capable. But I honestly have my doubts.

    • Alan

      Great tune man!

      Good choice!

  • Mr.T

    They should be giving him a big fat award for showing how pathetic the security was on those ATMS and how slow the coppers are at responding to an Alarm.
    Maybe give him job for head of bank security.

  • Irvin

    If a farmer with a straw hat can do this, imagine what an educated resourceful dude can do here. We don’t hear about it probably because they were never caught.

    • Dr. Jones Jr.

      You may be partially right. An “educated, resourceful” dude in China will probably do his best to join the CCP, and get a sinecure in government. Once there, he can (if he likes) cheat the country of much more than 500,000 RMB in goods, services, money and undeserved favors over the course of his life, and never once will he have to dirty his hands with garden tools to do so.

  • Young Man

    Modern China fucks the farmers. Even the word ‘farmer’ has become a pejorative. How despicable modern China would be in the eyes of Kong Fuzi or the Duke of Zhou.

    I will pray for him and I hope we all can wish him well.

  • Tengu

    You can’t pry an ATM machine open in the US to save your life, you’d need torches/drills and technical expertise.

    Every once in a while douchebags try to yank them off their underpinnings if they’re free standing, they just wind up driving down the road with an ATM sparking up behind their truck IF they manage to get them loose.

    BANK ALARM goes off and no one shows up???????????

    Returns multiple times. opens it with a meat cleaver…awesome.

    This is a rare moment when I’m going to bust Chinese balls.

    Bank Robbery is a specialized activity. Something is seriously wrong with the entire infrastructure if this little, inexperienced dude got in and out with ANY cash at a very, very leisurely pace.

    Chinese Bank Security – You’re doing it wrong!

    BTW – Why did he bring an umbrella on a return trip!!!!!!!!!

    • Nyancat

      Probably had something to do with the weather, from what I can gather it was pretty wet in Sichuan that time last year, perhaps this link will help explain

      • Nyancat

        whoops should have mentioned i was answering your question as to why he brought an umbrella :P

        • Tengu

          Whoops yourself, I got it and I gotta give him props for that hat…

    • coala banana

      usually an umbrella and even a rubber material rain jacket can be used to bypass single and dual-tech motion sensors to prevent the triggering of an alarm. BUT you have to walk in slow motion to do that.

      And regarding your comment US bank-machines…no you don’t need torches and drills, this bank machine you see in the picture is the same you see in the US, cause china follows american UL standards. The particular one is UL 291, just in case you are interested. The construction of the body and door consists of mild steel sheets of 1/2″ or 12,7mm, preferable St 37. Its NOT a thicker composite construction like in euro countries, therefor its easy to pry the door open with a crow bar, sometimes screwdriver and hammer are also enough.

      You are right though about the method removing anchored atms in the US by using a truck and a chain. But american security standards (product related) are not better then chinese. When it comes to security both china and the US step behind europe for at least

      years. The reason for that is that the particular standardization institute (which is UL) hasn’t amended most of their standards in the last

      years. This gives US producers and manufacturers the possibility to move their productions to 3rd world countries like china, indonesia and vietnam, so even they can comply with it. The products are of such bad quality, but hey, thats what US consumers want: cheap ! People still value quality, but they are not ready to pay for it. Except europe, where customers are “forced” to buy certain products based on quality and reliability standards, cause otherwise they wouldn’t get insurance cover.

      Bank alarm goes off and no one shows off ? welcome to china !

      alarms in china are as useless as tits on a bull, one wonders that not more things happen, guess its the low quality of primitive burglars, which doesn’t make better equipment necessary. Take CIT (cash in transit/money transportation) business by example, its all done by the chinese police/army.

      Now here is the tricky part:

      1. According to china law you can open a CIT company, but then in another law it says

      2.that to do that you must have a license to own and carry a gun

      3. then in another law it says that guns can just be owned and carried by government authorities, police and army…which then again makes law


      I think its their own way to comply with WTO standards, when someone asks, they point to point

      to show they comply with the free market, but finally after you found out that you can’t get a license and ask them whats the use of law number one, you will get some BS answers, the usual circling around the subject which leads to nowhere other then frustration and waste of time.

      This just as a side note !

  • Interested

    That is what 99% should do to 1%.

  • King Tubby

    This guy should be given a major position in the Politburo.

  • nn

    No comment for the post. Just need a place to release pressure, I hate landlords so much!!!!!!!!!!! I hate them!!!!!!!!!


    Banker steal more money and Police dont come too

    so what ever

    this case show he be cached but im sure often this is successful but media will not talk about that.

  • roger dodger

    I’m surprised they even caught him

    • coala banana

      first, chinese TV and newspaper just report cases where the criminal was caught.

      second, in some cases where they can’t find the responsible one, they just take a poor sucker from the countryside and put him in front of a camera, so they can show off something.

      third, in some significant cases which results in public outrage, or where the criminals are in fact high positioned party members or influential executives, they take a truck drive to the country side, pick up a few poor suckers, bring them to the police station, shave their heads and put them in a court, to show off, what good of a job the police did. I have no doubts that they even execute people which don’t even know why they are in the court room.

      fourth, in rare death penalty cases where the criminal is REALLY a party official or high executive, its cause he/she missed to pay/bride the one above him/her, get too greedy, or just didn’t want to cooperate.

      what do you think why so many officials send their children and family outside the country.

      while we in western countries immediately question and investigate when a politician buys an expensive car, house or spend money for other luxury which doesn’t comply with his salary. This things doesn’t seem to worry anyone in china, its cause the complete country is corrupt, the whole system is built up on “red packs” and favors and the ignorance of its citizens.

      • Just John

        ” its cause he/she missed to pay/bride the one above him/her”

        So, she is suppose to marry the one above her?

        bride noun \ˈbrīd\
        Definition of BRIDE
        : a woman just married or about to be married

        This has been another English lesson provided free of charge by the “Big Dick” company.

        • coala banana

          uups, thanks man ! i will save you from “english is not my native language blabla” and just thank you for correcting the “typo” ! No excuses, just how it is.

          but, ““Big Dick” company” ?? how big is big ? like a chiquita banana ? or a coala dick ?

          • mr. weiner

            ..So big it has it’s on gravitational pull

  • Rick in China

    Vegetable knife, pliers, umbrella….

    This guy is like the farmer version of Macgyver, too bad he didn’t sort out a better escape plan.

  • FYIADragoon

    Well it looks like he won’t become king of the pirates.

  • MadeInChina

    he bought a umbrella along because it was raining mulah baby!

  • liu mang

    years ago i came to china and said that if you wanted to make it rich here you a) have a business b) are a criminal of some sort.

    oh sorry, those are synonymous

    • jeffli

      Give him a job at Symantec or Macaffeee! Blackwater security (Xe?)
      sarcasm intended? Meh!

      • me

        hope it wasnt an IBCM ATM or most of the notes the bank employees will be A4 photocopies, the worst fakes in the world and then IBCM will deny all knowledge etc

  • Derek Xu

    Farmers are friendly and happy and a I like them very much.


    Its too bad he didn’t get away with it. Stealing from the Chinese government is actually not morally or ethically considered stealing…… its actually considered “Saving” the money from the clutches of incompetent fame seeking, guanxi loving princess boys and their families who suck the lifeblood out of China and sabatoge the people’s chances of ever being able to live honest lives with basic necessities and public services

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