Cable thieves shafted in toxic mine

Posted Feb 6, 2007 by RobotGod;_ylt=AmHNW_A1MTDP2spfumcidYntiBIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-

Two electric cable-stealing thieves in northeast China were rescued from a mine full of poisonous gas after spending 23 hours underground in a bid to evade police.
They fled down a 1,500-meter (5,000-ft) shaft full of carbon monoxide after being caught stealing cabling at a mine in Hada village. Police believed it could cave in at any time. So the Police waited at the mine's exits, sent search parties underground, and yelled down the shaft with no answer. 23 hours later, police heard a "weak voice" calling for help, so they went down and rescued them.
They must be the Laurel and Hardy of Thieves. Why were they trying to steal the cable? I guess they thought there were other exits down there and after 23 hours were spent.