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Nanjing: Robot helps bust thief who stole it

Nanjing: Robot helps bust thief who stole it
A robot stolen in the city of Nanjing, eastern China, has helped police track down its thief, local media reported.

According to the Yangtse Evening Post, the suspect, identified as Zhao, left his apartment in early March on the day his lease expired, taking 9,000 yuan (US$1,300) worth of property from his former roommate Tian with him, including a laptop, mobile phone, two hard drives, a wallet and the robot.

Tian, who lived in the apartment with Zhao and six other people, immediately reported the theft. But police could not find the thief until April 12, when he tried to turn on the stolen bot.

Activating the robot required putting in a phone number, so Zhao typed in his own. The machine then alerted Tian, who then in turn told the police. Officers tracked down Zhao to the nearby city of Xuzhou, where he was arrested on Thursday.

“I had been eyeing that robot for a long time, and stole it since my lease was just about to end,” Zhao told the police, the Yangtse Evening Post reported.

Crime-busting robots have been involved in a number of high-profile cases in the last few years, mostly in situations such as bomb disposals that would be too dangerous for humans.

In July 2016, a bomb disposal robot carrying a small explosive device was used to kill a man suspected of gunning down five police officers in Dallas, making it the first time US police had used such a machine for lethal force.