Truck driver Mr. Ma thought he was in trouble when a motorcyclist stopped him and told him that he had crushed a tailing scooter. Traffic camera footage, however, revealed that Mr. Ma almost became a victim of a dexterous con job.
In a video posted to Sina, a Chinese-language news portal, two scooters had followed Mr. Ma’s truck when he turned into a side road. As the large truck slowed down, the two riders on the yellow bike that was positioned to the right side of the truck suddenly dismounted.
In one swift move, the rider slid the yellow scooter under the rear tire of Mr. Ma’s truck, while the female passenger sat down on the pavement and started massaging her leg. The yellow scooter was crushed about a split second later.
As the drama was unfolding, the scooter on the left side of the truck drove up to the driver seat and informed Mr. Ma that he had just hit someone. Mr. Ma got out and approached the female passenger, who was putting on a show of great anguish.
“I asked her if I should dial ‘120’ and have her taken to the hospital. But she refused,” said Mr. Ma in an interview with a local television station. Mr. Ma explained that he started to sense something amiss when the woman told him not to call the police and insisted that they settle the incident between themselves. Also, Mr. Ma looked around and didn’t spot any other merging lanes on the side street he was on.
According to Hong Kong news media Oriental Net, the woman’s last name was Huang, and she was 41-years-old and unemployed. Huang had initially pressed Mr. Ma for 2,500 yuan (nearly $400), but he refused. Seeing that Huang’s bike was smashed, Mr. Ma offered 600 yuan), but she refused the sum. After Mr. Ma called the police, Huang hastily agreed to settle for 700 yuan.
Huang has since been sentenced to 7 days in detention, and the police are looking for her accomplices, according to Oriental Net.
On Sina Weibo, a popular social media website in China, netizens pointed out that this was not an isolated incident, but rather, a prevalent problem in China. Swindlers like Huang are now collectively known as the so-called “Touch Vase Group.”
“If everyone of these scammers are punished, there won’t be so many ‘Touch Vase Group’ members. The key is that China has a lax legal system and it costs very little to commit these crimes and so they come up with all kinds of tricks,” wrote a Guangdong netizen going by the name “Small Home Private Desser.”
“The consequence of not having any serious punishment is that these people become more arrogant, and get more and more unscrupulous,” said a netizen with the moniker “Crazy Rabbit Immortal Bird” from Inner Mongolia.
Last week, an elderly woman at Wushan County in Sichuan refused to get up after claiming that she was injured after being bumped—by a toy car.