Man Who Robbed Gas Station for $23 Spends 14 Years Hiding in Mountain Cave

A Chinese man who carried out a gas station robbery in 2009 and walked away with 156 yuan ($22.50) spent the last 14 years of his life hiding from the cops in a remote mountain cave.

Liu Moufu, from a village in  Enshi City, China’s Hubei province, was in his mid-30s when he took part in a gas station robbery along with his brother-in-law and another accomplice. They ended up with 156 yuan ($22.50) between them, 60 of which they quickly spent on some food and fireworks, which left them with just 32 yuan ($4.6) each. The three men parted ways, but it wasn’t long before police found Liu’s accomplices and arrested them. The man realized it was only a matter of time before authorities showed up at his doorstep, so he decided to go into hiding rather than risk prison time. Little did he know he would spend the next 14 years in a prison of his own making…

The runaway robber spent days hiding in the forest while police searched his home and questioned his family, and he eventually settled in a small karst cave. He started hunting and scavenging for food, and occasionally ventured into his home village to steal things like potatoes and meat, and see his parents for a few minutes. He was careful to only go home during big festivals, when he knew most people would be in the main square, but even so, he was spotted by others, and police always came sniffing around for him.

It’s unclear whether Liu’s family knew his hiding place, but if they did, they never told the police or visited it while authorities surveilled them. That meant that Liu Moufu spent most of his days alone, with only a few stray dogs he had taken in to fend off wild animals at night. As the years passed by, Liu found it harder and harder to put up with the loneliness and the constant stress of being discovered, but somehow he managed to live as a hermit for 14 years.

Although his wife and his parents repeatedly tried to get him to surrender, Liu Moufu always refused. It was only this year that he finally realized that he had locked himself away from the people he cared about for so long. He had missed his father’s funeral and his son’s wedding and he had never even seen his grandson. Last month, he finally decided to turn himself in.

“I’m over 50 years old, my wife is not in good health, and I have such a lovely grandson,” Liu said. “I want to live a normal life!”

Liu Moufu led policemen to the small cavern he called home for the last 14 years. It was located deep in a forested mountain area, about 10 kilometers from the nearest human settlement. Still, the man said that whenever he heard suspicious noises, he left his grotto and hid deeper in the woods.

Although a lot of time has passed since the robbery that made Liu a fugitive, he still cannot escape his punishment. So even though he condemned himself to a life of seclusion for 14 years, he no risks a minimum of 3 years behind bars for his crime. the fact that weapons were used during the robbery means that he faces up to 10 years in prison. Despite the small amount of money taken, robbery is still considered a very serious criminal offense.


“I robbed 156 yuan and hid in a cave for 14 years!… I regret it!” Liu reportedly told investigators.

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