World’s Weirdest Pickpocketer

2 Apr


A well-to-do, retired Vietnamese-American restauranteur has been arrested for pickpocketing Chinese people in New York City. Ha Vasko, 67, lives in a $400,000 house in Florida but travels to New York City to rob Chinese people and redistribute the wealth.

She allegedly views herself as a sort-of Robin Hood figure who can’t stand the Chinese. “I hate Chinese people. They sell fake stuff, take the money and send the money back home,” Vasko confessed to police, according to court papers obtained by The New York Post. “They get benefit cards and they don’t contribute anything back. So I take their money and give it to people who need it. I give it to homeless people who need it.

The New York Police Department focused on her after multiple violations. She stole repeatedly over the course of a year, allegedly attempting to bribe an officer at one point. After being charged with bribery and “jostling” in December 2009, Vasko had to return multiple times to NYC for court appearances. Once court was finished, she would head to Chinatown to pickpocket some more. This pattern occurred multiple times.

Her lawyer described her as “a diagnosed kleptomaniac with serious mental health problems, including lingering post-traumatic stress from the war in Vietnam.”

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