Video Credit: AsiaWire
This is the moment a brazen thief saunters up to a butcher’s counter and pockets a tasty piece of pork when the shopkeeper’s back is turned.
The CCTV footage from Ziyang, a city in south-western China’s Sichuan Province, shows the man strolling up to the meat vendor who appears to be out of frame and tending to another customer.
The man eyes the freshly cut pork chops on the butcher’s table and snatches a piece with his bare hands before stuffing it into his right trouser pocket, the video dated 30th August shows.
He then shakes his trousers, allowing the meat to slide down his pocket, and then casually walks away before the apparently clueless butcher returns.
With the security footage shared online, it appears that the vendor eventually became aware of the pork theft, but it is unclear whether the culprit was ever caught.
According to reports, the desperate crook likely turned to theft as a response to rising pork prices, which have increased more than 50 percent as a result of the now widespread African swine fever virus.
A Chinese state media report citing statistics from more than 500 counties said that pork prices in the third week of August rose to 35.12 RMB (4.05 GBP) per kilogramme – a 57.3 percent increase compared to the same time last year.
The report, which noted a marked increase in price since June, said experts expect the meat market to balance itself come October, with increased demand for beef and mutton likely to cause an eventual dip in pork prices.
Since the Chinese government made public its African swine fever outbreak on 3rd August 2018, there have been a total of 151 reported outbreaks in domestic pigs, leading to the culling of 1.1 million pigs.
This, according to a 15th August report by the UK’s Animal and Plant Health Agency, means that a total of nearly 5 million pigs have died or been culled in Asia as a result of the virus.
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