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September 23, 2009

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Burglaries spark police warning on locks

RESIDENTS in some districts of Shanghai were yesterday warned by police to make sure they double-lock doors when leaving home to ensure secondary deadbolts slip into place.

Yangpu District police issued an alert after detaining two suspects for burglaries which took advantage of residents' carelessness of just using the automatic lock when a door closes.

The burglars picked the single locks by using a plastic chip.

Police said some people in newly built residential complexes took burglar-proof doors for granted.

None of the six victims of burglary in the New Phoenix Town complex in Lane 1500 Kongjiang Road had double-locked doors before leaving their apartments.

Police said the suspects, both with criminal records, used the plastic chip to penetrate the narrow gaps between the door and frame to unlock them.

"If the victims had used the deadbolts of the doors, the chip could not have penetrated," detective Bao Weimin said yesterday.

"There are several locks on anti-theft doors, but people seldomuse them, which gives suspectsan ideal opportunity."

Bao said if secondary locking wasn't applied, "anti-theft doors just become ordinary doors."

The suspects were caught last Thursday with goods, including computers and cash, worth about 200,000 yuan (US$29,260).

The case is still under investigation as the buyer of the stolen goods remains at large.

Yangpu police said they also wanted to raise public awareness of security as the eight-day-long National Day holiday approaches.

"Every long holiday, we receive increased reports of theft," Bao said. "Sometimes we get so many calls in a day that it makes us short-handed."

Songjiang District police said yesterday they had caught suspects involved in the burglary of country houses and warned the public to be careful.

Two suspects were nabbed after 40 burglaries in suburban areas of the city, including Songjiang, Jiading, Qingpu and Jinshan districts.

With the help of neighbors, the suspects were caught in a corn fieldof Liugang Town when they weretrying to break into another house, police said.

The suspects confessed to thefts involving 80,000 yuan in cash, 10 computers, cell phones and jewelry.


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