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Beijing police open up about Palace Museum theft

05-12-2011 15:33 BJT

BEIJING, May 12 (Xinhua) -- Beijing police announced on Thursday some details about a recent relics theft at the Palace Museum in China's capital.

The suspect is Shi Baikui, a 28-year-old man from east China's Shandong Province.

Shi entered the museum as a visitor on May 8. Later that day, he found a hiding place inside the museum, and hid himself from staff members doing a final patrol of the museum before its closing time, according to the police.

He broke a window on the northern side of the exhibition hall to gain entry into the space and, then, he proceeded to steal relics.

Shi said theft was not on his mind when he initially entered the Palace Museum.

"After I entered the exhibition hall and listened to the guide's introductions to the exhibits, the idea of theft cropped up into my mind," he said.

Shi was apprehended by police at 7:40 p.m. on Wednesday at an Internet cafe in Beijing's Fengtai District, 58 hours after the relics were stolen.

On May 9, Beijing police learned of the theft of some relics that were on loan from a Hong Kong-based museum and being exhibited in the Chengsu Hall of the Palace Museum.

Shi has confessed to stealing the relics in the Palace Museum and he has been detained, according to police.

Police said some of the stolen items have been recovered. The case is under further investigation.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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