Chinese car thieves are going to have to add an air pump to their arsenal of burglary tools if an odd anti-theft program instituted by police in Chengdu catches on. Drivers in Jitou township, already on edge due to a series of vehicle thefts, have been going out to their cars in the morning only to find someone's let the air out of the tires.
Tucked under the windshield wiper was a note which read: “To keep your vehicle safe, please park it in a parking lot with guards,” along with a pair of mobile phone numbers car owners could call to arrange for free re-inflation.
One local driver reported that when he called in for re-inflation, two men arrived on the scene, bringing an air pump with them. The men explained that no scheme or scam was involved, saying that “The local police station sent workers to deflate tires, aimed at stopping vehicle theft.”
The pair (no telling why the job takes TWO men) offered some background on the situation, stating that “More than 100 vehicles' tires are deflated every night, with only us two to help re-inflate them. We are very busy – in the past three days, we've had to get up at 6am and re-inflate tires all day until 2 in the afternoon.” Nice work if you can get it!
Zhang Xiaochuan, chief of the Jitou Town Police Station, confirmed the bizarre story and further stated that having eight community policemen and over 80 security patrollers deflating vehicle tires from midnight to 6am was a remarkably effective way to deter auto thefts.
“Tens of vehicles are stolen every year here,” said Zhang, “almost always in areas without watchmen.” Maybe Zhang's on to something - since the tire deflation program was initiated, not a single vehicle has been stolen in Jitou township.
Perhaps Zhang and Jitou township could borrow a motto from Hans & Franz to promote their strange but effective anti-theft program: “Ve just vant to pump... (clap) ...YOU UP!” (via Shanghai Daily and What's On Chengdu)