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Cabbies suspected over theft of taxi

TWO taxi drivers have been detained for allegedly stealing a cab, Putuo District police said yesterday.

Fan Huidong, 40, and Shen Saiyu, 23, became friendly because they both came from Chongming County, said police.

On September 12, a taxi company where Shen worked reported a cab was missing from the company's parking lot on Putuo's Nujiang Road N.

Officers found that Shen had lost money gambling. He confessed that it was Fan's idea and they hid the vehicle near Fan's home on Gutai Road after stealing the car at 3am. Police officers seized Fan later that day.

The suspects had not yet begun running the stolen taxi, police said, and the cab had been returned to the taxi company.

Meanwhile, taxi companies have reported an increase in thefts since Sunday's rise in fares. Lighted roof signs and meters were among the items stolen, said an official surnamed Guan from Dazhong Taxi Co.

Cabbies have to pay 398 yuan (US$58.30) to buy a new meter, said Guan.

If caught, illegal taxi operators face fines up to 50,000 yuan and charges of counterfeiting and theft, the local traffic watchdog said.


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