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August 8, 2009

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Case unfolds of grand theft plan, zero result

TWO men had a grand scheme of theft that even included making a fake bomb, but their ineptness left them empty-handed, city prosecutors said yesterday.

The suspects, identified by their surnames of Bi and Jin, have been arrested for allegedly trying to rob luxury car owners in a downtown five-star hotel and property owners nearby, according to Luwan District prosecutors.

In the early morning of June 5, a sanitation worker surnamed Zhu found a suspicious shoe box in a garden near the crossing of Shaanxi Road S. and Chengle Road.

Inside the box were several columns tied with adhesive tape. The columns were connected to electric wires and a cell phone chip. Zhu suspected it was a bomb and reported the matter to police.

Officers soon established that it was a bogus bomb. The main components were yellow sand and cardboard.

Bi told prosecutors he resigned from his job as a security guard in a night club in March after owing nearly 100,000 yuan (US$14,637) in gambling debts. He made contact with Jin online and the plot was hatched.

They prepared toy guns and knives and Bi made the fake bomb copying an Internet picture. The device was to be used to threaten intended victims, prosecutors said.

They first targeted luxury sedans going in and out of the Garden Hotel. From April 28 to May 20, they waited at the entrance in the evening, planning to rob car occupants.

But they became spooked by the amount of people, prosecutors said.

The suspects then moved to two nearby residential communities on June 4, taking the fake bomb with them. They were foiled again by electronic theftproof cars.

The two then decided to go to an Internet bar and hid the false bomb in the garden .

They planned to use the device the next day.


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