Three foreigners walked into a cell phone store in Anyang, Henan province around 5 pm on August 29, described by one store employee in the video as having “really high noses” and “yellow eyes” (not a translation mistake — we have no idea what she means). Apparently one of them took out loose bills and asked to exchange for a one-hundred-yuan note. He insisted — with gestures and such, because he either didn’t know or pretended not to know Chinese — the cashier give him a bill that had “two S’es” on it. He kept writing the letter S.
This goes on for about 20 minutes, with his companions distracting other store employees and customers. And then the magic happens.
Watch in the video how the foreigner reaches out across the counter and grabs all the hundred-yuan bills and flips through them. He does this three times. Only after leaving does the cashier realize something is wrong. She counts the money and discovers she’s short by six to seven thousand RMB.
We’ll go ahead and stop the presses right here. I know what you’re thinking, because I’m thinking the same thing: how could a man possibly take 60 to 70 one-hundred-yuan bills from under a person’s nose?
The journalist asks the same question. “Let’s look again at the slow motion,” she says. At the 2:42 mark, the foreigner apparently folds several of the bills, and when handing the wad of cash back to the cashier, manages to pull back the folded money and stuff it in his pocket in one swift motion. (I personally don’t see it, but maybe that’s why he’s good?)
For now, let’s ignore the question of how much money must one hold for a stranger to filch 70 bills without you noticing. Let’s call these cashiers extremely earnest.
Afterwards, the victims went online and found that just a month prior, these same three foreigners were recorded in Wuxi, Jiangsu province performing a similar heist, to the tune of 1,000 yuan. In other words: they’re getting better. Authorities have been notified and are currently searching for these “magic” bandits.