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

Chinese "Straw Hat Burglar".

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.

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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