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March 19, 2011

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Gang robs, wrecks clubhouse

CITY police have started a hunt for a group of people who smashed and robbed a golf clubhouse in Minhang District on Thursday morning, resulting in millions of yuan in damage and stolen property, according to a police report issued yesterday.

Most of the club's facilities were damaged in the attack and many items were stolen by some 30 people about 12:30am on Thursday, said a man surnamed Xie, manager of the Shanghai Grand City Golf Club on Zhongchun Road. The total loss to the club was estimated at more than 2 million yuan (US$304,330), Xie said.

Xie said four guards were at the scene when the robbery occurred, but had been locked up by the suspects.

According to the Shanghai Morning Post, furniture was broken into pieces and piled in the middle of the lobby and a glass wall was smashed, leaving a 1-meter-wide hole.

The golf store was ransacked, with only empty plastic bags left behind, and the wooden doors to the VIP room were also damaged and the television and sofa inside taken away.

"Most of the valuables were stolen, including five sets of branded golf clubs worth a total of more than 1 million yuan," Xie said. "But fortunately our clients' clubs were all locked behind an iron door and escaped the theft, otherwise we wouldn't know how to face our clients."

The 30 men armed with iron bars broke into the club about 12:30pm and the four guards were dragged and locked in a room and had their cell phones taken.

Smashing sounds were soon heard and the security guards also heard things being loaded onto trucks. About two hours later, the suspects kicked the four guards out on the street and locked the gate of the club. Xie was reached about 3am by the security guards, who used a public phone on the street.

Xie said there were several surveillance cameras installed inside the club. However, when he and police went to check the video clips, they found that all the footage taken during the robbery had disappeared.

Xie said the club was owned by the Shanghai Yutong Management Co while the venue was rented by the Shanghai Metropolitan Group - the contract is valid until the end of this year.

Xie said the club had been running well and he had never imagined such violence could occur there. He also said the Metropolitan Group had made an application to end the contract before the expiry date, but that it was rejected by the club's management.


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