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May 17, 2010

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Cops stop two thieving gangs

HONGKOU District police yesterday ambushed a pickpocketing gang, catching all six suspects for allegedly plucking out wallets and cell phones from handbags with tweezers.

The suspects were said to follow their victims into food markets in Hongkou and Yangpu districts and to strike while the latter were distracted by the food.

Plainclothes officers set their ambush around the market at the intersection of Changzhong Road and Jiangyang Road S. in Hongkou about 5am yesterday and caught the suspects at the scene after waiting for an hour and a half.

The police said the gang usually started the thefts at six. Traveling by minibus, they'd go on to steal at several markets a day.

The case was still under investigation last night.

Earlier this month, Songjiang District police cracked down on a gang of four for allegedly burglarizing cars parked aside the road.

The police hold the gang responsible for about 20 thefts in suburban areas including Songjiang, Qingpu and Jinshan districts. They said 13 cases have been confirmed totaling 50,000 yuan (US$7,320) in stolen goods.

The police said the gang led by a suspect surnamed Yu started the car burglaries last month, mostly in the Fangsong and Yueyang areas of Songjiang. The methods of the burglary were violent. The gang usually smashed a parked vehicle's window and took valuables inside such as cell phones, wallets, bags and navigation systems.

Songjiang police reminded drivers to leave nothing of value in their car, not even coats.

"The suspects might think there is a wallet in the coat and steal it," an officer said.


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