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July 13, 2010

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Beware the bus thieves

POLICE are warning bus passengers to be more careful with their belongings after a recent increase in thefts.

A gang of eight suspects was detained last month after 13 incidents involving the theft of jewelry from commuters on local buses this year. The police said the gang worked as a team.

Stolen gold jewelry items to the value of about 50,000 yuan (US$7,384) were returned to their owners yesterday.

Necklaces or bracelets make easy targets, police said.

"Most cases happen when the victims are getting on or getting off the bus," said Xiang Jun of the bus transit police.

In one of the latest cases, victim Pu Caihua chased and captured a suspect after she was robbed on a No. 43 bus.

The suspect, surnamed Wang, was caught on June 16 while helping others steal Pu's gold necklace.

The incident took place at about 7:30pm on a No. 43 bus as it approached the Damuqiao Road stop downtown. Pu's gold necklace was suddenly torn off by one of a group surrounding her just before the door opened. They ran off in different directions but Pu and her friends kept chasing Wang. The other suspects were caught two days later.

Police have caught 511 suspects on the city's bus routes this year. But the number of theft cases on buses had fallen by 36 percent because of police crackdowns, they said.


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