Frenchman held in China over iPhone theft

Beijing, Dec 27: A French national has been arrested in China over charges of stealing an iPhone 4 from a public bathhouse.

The 26-year-old stole the iPhone in Putuo district of the coastal province of Zhejiang Nov 12 when the owner, surnamed Liu, was sleeping in a room and left his cellphone for charging on a couch with a blanket covering it, reported the Shanghai Daily citing the prosecutors at the Putuo District People’s Procuratorate.

Liu filed a complaint about the missing iPhone, which costs about 3,400 yuan ($560), with Putuo police the same day.

Police found the Frenchman, who had entered the room two hours later after Liu left it for charging. He had wrapped the iPhone and its cable in a towel and walked to another room. He kept the phone under the couch mattress and put the cable in his locker, prosecutors said.

As police questioned him, the Frenchman handed over the iPhone and its cable to them. But he denied having stolen it. He first claimed it was his phone and but later said it actually belonged to his friend.

Police said they had witnesses and surveillance videos to prove that the French national stole the phone. He was detained the following day (Nov 13).