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Chinese iPhone thief returns SIM, contact list to rightful owner

Crook with a conscience writes out 11 pages of contact details by HAND

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A Chinese iPhone thief has gone to extraordinary lengths to atone for his crime, copying out all 1,000 address book contacts onto paper and sending them to the phone’s owner.

In an act of kindness rarely observed by the criminal fraternity, the pickpocket wrote out 11 pages of telephone numbers in total, according to a Xinhua report seen by AFP.

The thief apparently nabbed the i-device whilst sharing a cab with its owner between Yiyang and Changsha in the central province of Hunan.

Yet the selfless criminal may have been prompted to embark on his writing odyssey after receiving a threatening text from the iPhone's owner.

"I know you are the man who sat beside me. I can assure you that I will find you," the message apparently read.

"Look through the contact numbers in my mobile and you will know what trade I am in. Send me back the phone to the address below if you are sensible."

It’s suspected the device owner, Zou Bin, may have had links to organised crime.

However he is still reported to have been astonished when, a few days after sending the text, he received a package containing the phone SIM and a sheaf of papers with the handwritten contact details.

“It would take a while to write from one to one thousand, let alone names and a whole string of digits. I suppose [his] hand is swelling,” Zou is quoted as saying.

The incident is another pertinent reminder to smartphone owners to periodically back up any important data stored on the device.

It seems the wonders of iCloud have yet to filter through to the fanbois of central China. ®

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