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October 29, 2009

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Police collar suspect in temple

A MAN who has been on the run for almost two months from Shanghai's Metro police after a brazen theft has been found hiding out in a provincial Buddhist temple, returned to the city and placed under detention.

The man, shaven headed and robed, was performing menial tasks at the monastery and told skeptical officers he wanted to become a monk.

The suspect, surnamed Jin, 19, was brought back to Shanghai early yesterday morning from the temple in Ningbo in neighboring Zhejiang Province.

"I have been haunted by what I did," Jin, who since his alleged crime has covered thousands of kilometers in eastern and southern China, told officers.

"Being caught is a relief."

Police said yesterday that Jin was also involved in several thefts in east China's Fujian Province.

On September 8, a passenger, surnamed Wang, found her bag missing after napping for just three to four minutes on Metro Line 1.

Police said Wang retrieved 2,800 yuan (US$410), a mobile phone and a music player from the bag.

With no witnesses, Metro officers went through surveillance camera records and spotted the suspect.

However, officers lost all trace of Jin twice during their hunt in Fujian cities of Fuzhou and Quanzhou.

Jin resurfaced in Ningbo on October 20. Officers caught him in the temple.

Police recovered 600 yuan in cash in Jin's belongings.

He told them he had spent the rest - hardly a righteous path for a would-be monk.


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