Officers who tracked down a suspected fraudster to an Avengers screening allowed him to watch the entire three-hour film before hauling him off.
Police in east China pinpointed the suspect within crowds of more than 600 people who turned up for the midnight opening of Endgame on Wednesday, April 24.
The suspect Mr Liu is accused of maintaining fake relationships with at least two women, swindling them out of a combined 400,000 RMB – about £46,000.
Local police said they received a call from Miss Wang, who claimed to have been one of Liu’s victims, and who revealed that they met online in May 2018 and began a relationship a few weeks later.
Between June last year and April 2019, Miss Wang said she gave her boyfriend more than 300,000 RMB – about £34,000 – after he begged her to help him open a new business and pay his employees.
And she would have continue pouring money into the relationship but for a phone called she received from another woman, Miss Zhang, in mid-April.
Miss Zhang claimed to be Liu’s girlfriend too, and revealed she gave him more than 100,000 RMB – about £11,000 – of her savings for similar ‘investment’ purposes.
Jianggan police said they tracked the suspect and learnt on Tuesday, April 23 that he was planning to take his girlfriend to watch the latest Marvel blockbuster.
But after picking him out amongst more than 600 viewers in six auditoriums playing the movie at the same time, the officers decided to allow Liu to sit through the film before making their arrest.
The police said this was in order not to disturb the public’s viewing experiences of the hugely popular movie, adding Liu was nabbed as soon as he stepped out of the auditorium.
Liu remains in custody on fraud charges as further investigations continue.
The authorities revealed Mr Liu’s girlfriend had only began a relationship with him several days earlier, but they did not comment on whether she was his latest scam victim.
Endgame, which marks the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 22-movie ‘Infinity Saga’, has smashed box-office records by becoming the first film to exceed 1 billion USD – about £772million – on its opening weekend.