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March 5, 2010

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Gang took taxi meters

LOCAL police said yesterday that they have busted a gang for allegedly stealing taxi meters and holding them for ransom.

The gang, with eight members, was involved in more than 50 such thefts, police said. Each time the suspects would collect 400 yuan (US$58) to 1,000 yuan.

But police said about 20 cases could not be pursued because some cabbies just wanted to get their equipment back and were unwilling to testify.

The suspects would leave contact information on the taxi windows after the thefts, police said. Once taxi drivers paid a ransom into the gang's bank account, the stolen equipment would be sent back to them.

Police became aware of the thefts on January 12, when five taxi meters were stolen overnight in a residential complex.

The breakthrough came when officers found motorcyclists who were paid to deliver stolen items back to the taxi drivers.

Police also kept a close eye on the bank account the gang used for receiving the ransoms.

On January 18, officers nabbed the first suspect in a bank. He told police of other suspects, leading to more captures until the last gang member was seized on Tuesday.


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