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Parents warned after arrests for thefts at hospital

THE arrests of two men alleged to have carried out thefts at Fudan University's Children's Hospital have been approved by Minhang District prosecutors.

Prosecutors said people needed to take extra care of their belongings while they were busy taking care of sick children. They also advised the hospital to increase security in busy areas.

On January 14, Xu Lili took her one-year-old son, who had a fever, to the hospital with her mother. While they were waiting for an X-ray, Xu went to get some milk for the baby and her mother stayed to look after him. She put a bag on the chair beside her but felt the bag move when she was comforting the baby. She saw a man open the bag and shouted for help. The man ran off but security guards caught him in the basement.

The suspect, Zhu Hechun, a Hunan Province native, told prosecutors he had stolen more than 2,300 yuan (US$336.4) cash in two thefts earlier that month.

He said he had been told by a friend that parents tended to carry a lot of cash to pay medical expenses for their children.

"Besides, parents usually concentrate their attention on the sick children who are likely to be noisy. So it is easy to steal things from them," Zhu allegedly said.

Just two days previously, Yang Xueqi, also from Hunan Province, was caught in the hospital. Yang targeted a couple with a five-year-old son who had leukemia. While they were waiting for a blood test, the wife suddenly found her bag missing. Her husband, surnamed Wang, tracked down the man, prosecutors said.

With the help of a security guard, Yang was apprehended.


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