An American teacher at a university in Guangzhou has been sentenced to eight months in prison and fined 10,000 yuan after breaking into a fellow foreign teacher’s room and stealing over 90,000 yuan in April. The teacher, identified as Foster, told Yuexiu District People’s Court that he was ignorant of Chinese law and asked for leniency, Zhengyi Wang reports.
Foster, 39, who has a Master’s of Education first came to China in 2002 and began teaching English at the university in 2008. On the evening of April 14, Foster sneaked into his colleague John’s room from the window and stole $14,352.00, HKD $ 2,440 and an AP travelers check of $400.00 (The combined total was worth 91,673.600 RMB).
On the morning of April 15, Foster was arrested and returned everything he stole.
John, the victim says, “I have been in China for over 10 years. I have always put my cash in my bedroom and bring it with me when I go back to America. I didn’t know we could deposit foreign currency into a Chinese bank.”
Foster confessed to stealing the money, saying his mother’s birthday was coming up and he needed to go back to America. He claimed in court that he thought if a suspect returned the money and confessed then the punishment would be lenient. He said: “I am not familiar with Chinese law but I am hoping the Chinese judicial system can give me a lenient sentence.”