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Odd: a Chinese Jailbreak. Odder: the Media Reporting It

There's a $15K reward for Zhang Guilin and Wang Lei
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2018 8:33 AM CDT
Zhang Guilin, left, and Wang Lei.   (China National Radio, via BBC)

(Newser) – Looking to make a quick $15,000? Find these two fugitive prisoners for Chinese authorities. In what the BBC calls a "rare" event, Wang Lei, said to be in his mid-30s, and Zhang Guilin, in his late 30s or early 40s, broke out of the Lingyuan Third Prison in Liaoning province, and there's now a reward for information leading to their capture. The story is muddled as to how the pair, both serving life sentences, broke out, with some reports saying they escaped wearing stolen prison guard uniforms and using stolen access cards, while other reports note they may have simply slipped out of a prison window. They're both believed to still be in the province.

What the BBC notes is just as uncommon as the escape itself is the fact that the media is reporting on an incident that "might cause public alarm"; such incidents usually aren't disclosed until they've been resolved. Wang had his death sentence for kidnapping commuted to life in prison at the end of last year. Zhang, however, who was in for life for robbery, had a more interesting past: He was originally sentenced to prison in 2001, got out in 2007, and then committed another crime just a year later. He got his life sentence handed down in 2009, and he tried to escape twice after that. Meanwhile, on social media, the prison's workers are being trashed as "incompetent." (Read more China stories.)

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