A Whampoa man found his trousers had been sliced open after he foiled an attempt by a would-be thief to pickpocket him. Richard Li’s account of the “brazen” attempted robbery went viral after he described his ordeal online. Thousands shared his recounting of the incident after it was posted on Facebook on Sunday.

Li said that he boarded bus 212 from Whampoa Garden Bus Terminus and was sitting on the upper deck of the bus when a man sat next to him despite there being several empty seats on the vehicle.

Whampoa. Photo: Googlemaps.

The man’s “sitting posture was getting weirder and weirder, and his buttocks were slowly getting closer, and I noticed that his right hand was hidden,” Li said.

Li said that he then checked his wallet to make sure it was there, finding that the man had hidden his right hand near his buttocks. He then placed a bag between himself and the man. The suspect then sat upright again, getting off at the next stop.

However, Li found that his trousers had been sliced open when he got off the bus himself.

Sliced pants. Photo: Richard Li.

“You can see that he has already sliced my trouser pockets such that he can just take my wallet out,” he said.

In an update at 8:31pm, he added that he had made a statement to police. He told Apple Daily that the police told him they “have never heard of something so brazen” when he made his report.

The post received 47,000 “likes” and had gained over 7,754 shares as of 3:30pm on Monday.

Facebook comments. Photo: Facebook screenshot.

One commenter said “This is crazy? Be careful of your buttocks.”

“When I was studying in the mainland, I saw a lot of this method of pickpocketing. They will put the blade between their fingers and steal with a slice, catching the falling contents…,” said another, “they can finish their pickpocketing just by walking past you.”

Many also tagged their friends, telling them to be careful.

The police told HKFP that the case had been listed as attempted pickpocketing following preliminary investigations, and no one had been arrested as of yet. The case will be followed up by the Criminal Investigation Team 8 of the Kowloon City Police.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.