A gang of pregnant thieves dubbed the “Big Belly Gang” and that has been in action for more than ten years found themselves behind bars yesterday at the end of a month-long police operation.
The 47 members were believed to be behind most of the 3,000 cases of shoplifting reported in the city of Hangzhou last year. Authorities explained that the gang operated in groups of five and used three non-pregnant women to distract staff while two pregnant women stole goods from the store or relieved shoppers of their money and valuables. Once they left the building the loot would be divided on a 60/40 basis between the non-pregnant and pregnant team members.
What’s the deal with all of the pregnant thievery in a country famous for its one child policy and liberal application of the death penalty? It seems that in China, pregnant or lactating women have a virtual get out of jail free card. They can plead “special circumstance” – in return they are released “almost immediately.” It was reported that most of the gang members had at least three children but that some had as many as eight and that one woman was still active in the gang despite being arrested no less than 47 times.
The gang’s children were said to have been cared for by their stay-at-home husbands.