HONG KONG (AP) There may be a burgeoning trend among thieves in Hong Kong. Call it smear-and-snatch.
In one case, a thief reportedly chewed up chocolate, spit it into his hand, then smeared it onto a businessman as a diversion so accomplices could steal the victim's money.
Freddy Horta Espitia, a 31-year-old Colombian, was caught and convicted after authorities matched his DNA with samples from the chocolate stains left on the man's clothing, the South China Morning Post reported.
In a similar case, a Mexican man was sentenced to 32 months in prison for stealing cash from a Hong Konger after spraying him with ketchup, the Post said.
The man who used the chocolate smears was sentenced to 32 months after pleading guilty to a theft that netted about $15,000, the newspaper said.
The gang targeted people seen making large withdrawals from ATM machines, the newspaper said. Horta's accomplices have not been caught.
Hong Kongers see unusual crime trend
Published: Fri Feb 20, 2004 | Modified: Sat Aug 06, 2005 05:51 p.m.