A car owner in northern China was taken aback by an extortion threat last Sunday (Oct 22) that put his vehicle at risk.
The man, identified only by his surname Zhang, had found a bicycle from bike sharing company ofo locked to the wheel of his car in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, reported South China Morning Post.
He had parked the car on the street the night before, as he could not find a parking space in an underground carpark, reported local media.
When Mr Zhang woke the next morning, he found a note on his vehicle, demanding that he send a digital hong bao via messaging app WeChat to a specific account.
The ransom in exchange for his car's freedom? Two hundred yuan (S$41).
But Mr Zhang refused to give in to the extorter's demands and decided to call the police, according to SCMP.
The bike was released from his car using a pair of high-power bolt cutters.
While the police said it was the first time they had encountered such a case of extortion, local media said license plates and wing mirrors from luxury cars have been "kidnapped" before.
Local police said motorists should park their cars in areas being monitored by surveillance cameras, to lower their chances of being a victim of similar crimes.