I take all peculiar stories from China with a grain of salt as I figure that they are just a result of the state-run media’s propaganda machine.
As for the underwear thief…I’m assuming that I don’t want to know how he smuggled them out of the store?
The stories referred to in this email had been mentioned by Andrew’s producer a few minutes before I wrote the email. For your amusement, I’ve tracked down the stories and included them below.
A 14-YEAR-OLD boy drank gasoline for five years to obtain “energy” – just as his idols “Bumble Bee” or “Optimus Prime” do in “Transformers,” the Sichuan-based West China Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
After the boy, in Yibin City, southwest Sichuan Province, had watched the animated TV series, he began to drink gasoline to become a “valiant fighter” like “Optimus Prime,” his father told the newspaper.
“He began to drink gasoline five years ago, when we found he liked smelling lighter fuel,” he said.
The boy’s mother owned a grocery stall, selling small goods such as lighters.
In 2004, she often found lighters missing two or three days after she’d bought them. She later found that her son had been stealing them.
The parents talked to their son and asked him not to do it again. “But afterwards we found our motorcycle’s gasoline was always disappearing, and one day when we found the boy had drunk a half bottle of gasoline stolen from the motorcycle, we were too shocked to say anything,” the father said.
Police catch underwear thief 
German police uncovered over 1,000 pairs of underpants and more than 100 pairs of swimming trunks after catching a thief nabbing another three pairs for his collection.
The 46-year-old man was caught Sunday pinching three pairs of pants from a sports hall in the western town of Gelnhausen. Police then came across the enormous collection of underwear while searching his flat.