Vet­eran key-cut­ter out to catch 10,000 thieves

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By LI YINGQING in Kun­ming liy­ingqing@chi­

Like a hero from a kung fu story, Sun Yunyi seeks to help the needy ev­ery day, out of a sense of jus­tice. Car­ry­ing a 1.5-me­ter-long self-made spiked club, he has caught more than 6,000 thieves in the past 42 years.

In ad­di­tion to run­ning a key-cut­ting store in Kun­ming, cap­i­tal of Yun­nan prov­ince, Sun, 75, has ded­i­cated more than half his life to catch­ing thieves.

He is only 1.65 me­ters tall and of medium build. How­ever, Sun’s kung fu abil­ity sets him aside from other men his age.

A typ­i­cal day for Sun be­gins with half an hour of ex­er­cise be­fore open­ing his store at 7 am. At mid­day, he walks around the mar­ket­place near his store on the look­out for thieves. He said his per­sonal record is catch­ing 43 thieves in a day and eight at one time.

When talk­ing about catch­ing thieves, Sun ap­pears full of pas­sion, ges­tic­u­lat­ing wildly.

“The modus operandi is dif­fer­ent de­pend­ing on the type of thieves I am catch­ing. I can tell by their be­hav­ior if they are up to no good, and I have never made a wrong judg­ment,” Sun said.

Sun’s belly, chest, feet and legs have many scars caused by knives or clubs used by thieves. To pre­vent his fam­ily from wor­ry­ing, Sun sets rules for him­self to en­sure his safety, car­ries his spiked club while pa­trolling the neigh­bor­hood, and keeps a first-aid kit at his store.

In 1975, while Sun was work­ing as a cook in a hos­pi­tal can­teen, he caught a staff mem­ber steal­ing cook­ing oil from the can­teen three times. Sun claims he was framed and lost his job af­ter be­ing ac­cused of steal­ing the oil.

“Ever since then, I have hated thieves from the bot­tom of my heart,” Sun said.

He has pro­vided lo­cal po­lice au­thor­i­ties with nine note­books record­ing de­tailed in­for­ma­tion about the thieves he has caught and the crimes they com­mit­ted.

“My dream is to catch a to­tal of 10,000 thieves. But now I am get­ting older and weaker, so it is harder to achieve that goal,” Sun said.

Li Hongyang con­trib­uted to this story.


Sun Yunyi works at his key-cut­ting store in Kun­ming, Yun­nan prov­ince.

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