Four men involved in a failed robbery at knife point in Jing'an District have been thrown into prison.
The ringleader surnamed Jiang, heavily indebted to a loan shark, posted on QQ last December, seeking helpers interested in "making a big fortune."
A man surnamed Sun from Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province; a jobless man surnamed Huang; and a driver surnamed Zhao signed up, according to Jing'an District People's Court.
They met in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, where Jiang lived. They made two plans. Under Plan A, they would get find an unaccompanied wealthy looking man, get him drunk, obtain the passwords to his accounts, and then kill him.
Under Plan B, if they couldn't find such a target, they would instead blow up a truck carrying cash.
They bought alcohol, masks, gloves, detonators, gummed tapes, electric batons and fruit knives, the court said.
At dusk on December 19, 2016, they drove to Shanghai Railway Station and after wandering around for several hours finally targeted a man who had just parked his BMW car in a nearby parking lot.
Sun stood guard while the three others approached the target surnamed Xu. Huang held Xu at knife point and the two others helped to subdue Xu. But he shouted for help and fought back, trying to grab the knife, at which point Huang accidentally stabbed himself in the belly.
The noise alerted passers-by. So the three attackers fled the scene.
They took a taxi to Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province, and next day went to Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province. They were caught in a local hotel room.
Sun, meanwhile, handed himself over to police.
The four were convicted on Monday of robbery by the Jing'an court. Jiang was sentenced to five years behind bars, Huang to four years, Zhao to three years and Sun to two and half years.