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Thief steals 30,000 bottles of ice tea to empty them, earns $20 from recycling

His time wasn't so well spent as he only earned $50.
His time wasn't so well spent as he only earned $50.
Austrian Times

A Chinese man attempted to make some extra cash by doing a little stealing and using an idea he thought would bring him a lot of money. Well, now he's looking at jail time and he wasted a lot of time for very little money. The Inquisitr reported on July 30, 2014, that the thief allegedly stole 30,000 bottles of ice, spent the night pouring them out, and then went to recycle the empty bottles.

Unfortunately for him, he only pulled in around $20 for all of his trouble.

Police arrested 43-year-old Zhang Hao after being alerted that the bottles of ice tea stored in a warehouse in the city of Wenzhou in China's Zheijiang Province had been stolen. 38-year-old Liang Feng arrived to get a palette of bottles of tea for a customer, but saw the whole warehouse was empty.

It appears as if he didn't really think things through or do the math to figure out how much he would get from recycling all the empty ice tea bottles. He also didn't think carefully about how to dispose of the tea in the bottles.

The Austrian Times at first said that they saw no trace of the stolen bottles on the black market. Soon, the noticed a strong and sweet smell outside the warehouse. Officers searched around and found a number of bottle tops outside.

Police spokesman Lin Jianxue said: "After making further enquiries we discovered that a large number of iced tea bottles had been recycled with a local collector – and from there they were able to track down the man that it sold them. The collector remembered because usually the bottles are mixed when they come from private people, and these were all of the same type and not dirty as if they had never been in the bin."

Upon arresting Zhang, he admitted to his wrong-doing.

Zhang said that he was in the area of the warehouse and looking for empty bottles to recycle. This was when he noticed the warehouse was unlocked so he called three friends to empty the bottles, and they spent 12 hours doing just that.

After emptying the tens of thousands of bottles, he called a local plastic bottle collector to come get them. Zhang and the others were paid a total of around $20. The collector sold the bottles to a recycling plant for around $150.

Zhang is facing up to 10 years in the jail for the theft charges. His three friends, the recycling plant, and the bottle collector are all in the clear since they had no knowledge of the illegal activity.

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