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August 19, 2011

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Novel way to kick addiction

CITY police said yesterday they had detained a suspect who robbed a cab driver just so he could be imprisoned to rid himself of his gambling addiction.

The jobless man surnamed Gong got more than 1,000 yuan (US$156.60) from a cabbie on Wednesday and called 110 twice, eager to be detained, said the Jiading District police yesterday.

Gong said he was addicted to gambling and had lost nearly all his savings, about 3,000 yuan, on Tuesday night, police said. The 23-year-old man then devised the idea to get himself arrested.

About 9am Wednesday, under the influence of alcohol, Gong found an unlicensed cab on Wuyang Road in Jiading, and decided to target it, police said.

Gong suddenly brandished a knife and told the driver, surnamed Wang, to pull over when the car was in the tunnel of Xinghua Highway, police said.

"He said he wanted some money to save his life and said he would turn himself in," Wang told the police.

Wang gave Gong all the 1,000 yuan he had and then was told to take off his bracelet as well. At that point Wang opened the door and used a bat to fight back.

But Gong seemed well-prepared and pushed Wang out of the taxi and then drove it away, traveling over 1 kilometer.

Gong then called police to report the robbery.

Gong said he had no relatives in Shanghai and had no job or residence.

He told police he earned about 6,000 yuan last year and saved half of it, but lost all of that on Tuesday night.


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