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July 5, 2010

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Police catch suspect in side-view mirror thefts

A MAN has been detained for stealing side-view mirrors from expensive cars and then selling them back to owners, police said yesterday.

Suspect Fei Zhaoqiang, 30, was believed to have been involved in 25 such thefts citywide since May and the mirrors were worth more than 300,000 yuan combined (US$44,310), police said.

Officers said Fei would target expensive automobiles, steal the mirror and leave a note saying, "If you want the mirror back, call this number... "

He usually would demand 1,000 yuan for a stolen mirror and police said many victims paid because the price for a new one can be more than 10,000 yuan depending on the car model.

"The suspect was cunning," officers said.

He would pretend to be dumb and deaf if he sensed something suspicious, police said.

Police used surveillance cameras and other sources to catch the suspect.

Fei was caught at 9pm on Saturday in Putuo District in an ambush after several communities were monitored for three days and nights.

Officers found tools and some unsold mirrors at Fei's residence in a local inn.

Fei, from Heilongjiang Province, came to the city but could not find a job, police said.

Fei told police that he had stolen the mirrors in five downtown districts. Police said they expect that there are other victims who have yet to report their loss.


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