Laowai robs Shenzhen bar, staff and students, then skips town

Posted: 11/26/2012 3:18 pm

Chill’s Bar (Photo from ThatsPRD)

Staff at Chill’s Bar in Shekou are recovering from having tens of thousands of yuan stolen from them by an American who fled the city last month, according to Shenzhen Daily. Real English, a nearby language training centre, was also a victim of the theft that has caused outrage across Shekou.

The bar on Haichang Street lost tens of thousands of yuan that was allegedly taken by the American who had opened Chill’s with partners last spring, just before opening Real English.

The paper reports:

“He took everything — even the staff’s tips,” said Danish businessman Kent Kristensen, a regular at Chill’s who said a friend of the American’s loaned him 20,000 yuan (US$3,211) the day before he disappeared.

The vanished American allegedly left unpaid bills, paychecks and debts at both businesses, while taking advance tuition payments from parents of students at Real English, which was forced to close.

People who knew the alleged thief, who is unidentified because police reports and actions have not been confirmed, said he emptied the bar’s cash register on his way out the door and even grabbed loans from friends before jetting, saying he needed help with renovations or family issues.

“I gave him a personal loan of 30,000 yuan,” said a baker in the neighborhood. “He said he was going to expand the business. I gave him the money on Saturday and he left on Sunday.”

The remaining staff at the bar are selling T-shirts with the American’s face on it in order to raise money to pay the bills, and pay back creditors.

Chill’s Bar used to be known as Burt’s, and has become a popular hot dog and hamburger hangout in the Shekou area.  Hopefully this guy is found, and people get their money back.


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