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August 25, 2010

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Five gang members held for stealing fuel from tourist buses

A GANG that stole fuel from tourist buses which came to the city for the World Expo has been busted.

The gang had three cars which were refitted and equipped with oil suction tubes, police said. In total the converted cars could carry 1,000 liters of fuel, according to local police.

The suspects preyed on the buses almost every day since April when the vehicles began arriving for the Expo, police said.

Many buses had to park alongside roads due to parking space shortage in downtown, which provided the gang with an ideal opportunity to steal the diesel without raising an alarm.

The theft was exposed in late May when fuel from three out of four tourist buses was stolen overnight in Changning District. The buses were parked in front of a motel.

The passengers, more than 180 visitors from neighboring Anhui Province, had to cancel their trip to the Expo and return to their hometown after refueling the buses.

The gang was caught in the act in the suburban Baoshan District recently. Five suspects have been arrested.

The suspects were able to draw the fuel out of the bus within a minute with their equipment, police said.

One gang member, surnamed Hou, told officers that they could earn 0.7 yuan (10 US cents) for each stolen liter, making a cool 17,000 yuan in total. A liter of diesel at local gas stations costs about 7 yuan.

Police have reminded bus drivers to park their vehicles at parking lots or at places where they can be monitored.


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