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September 14, 2011

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Pair held over scooter raids

TWO suspects have been detained in connection with smash-and-grab raids by thieves on a scooter who targeted other riders and pedestrians, police said yesterday.

One suspects, Liu Feng, is alleged to be one of the robbers, while the other, Wang Haijun, was detained for allegedly purchasing and selling the spoils, mostly gold necklaces, said Zhabei District police.

Officers are still hunting another suspect, who is believed to have left the city.

So far, 17 gold necklaces, five gold rings and four laptops have been recovered by police, who are seeking the owners through the Internet. One necklace was claimed yesterday.

The two alleged robbers on the scooter, from southern China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, had been in jail for similar offenses in the southern Guangzhou City in Guangdong Province, according to police.

The first robbery was reported on August 8, when a victim surnamed Li was robbed of her necklace on Baotong Road.

"I was on my bicycle and was hit from behind," Li said. "I turned around to see what was going on and at that very moment my gold necklace, which weighed more than 30 grams, was grabbed."

Li tried to follow the thieves but lost them.

On August 14, at 10pm a couple on their electric scooter were robbed in a similar manner on Zhongshan Road N., police said.

Through checking surveillance videos, police identified the suspects' scooter.

The next night, officers located the scooter near Zhonghuaxin Road and placed it under surveillance.

At 7am on August 16, Wang was apprehended and found to have a stolen necklace, police said.

Liu was apprehended at 3pm in his home in the suburban Qibao Town, Minhang District, police said. The other suspect had already gone when police arrived.

"We targeted women as they usually wear necklaces and are usually too weak to resist," Liu told police.

Liu said he and his accomplice on the scooter turned to robbery as they owed money.

The case was still under investigation yesterday.


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