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April 8, 2011

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Police help 3 homeless kids reunite with families

SHANGHAI Metro police said yesterday that they have helped three homeless children reunite with their families after setting up an online database earlier this year.

The children, all non-locals, strolled or begged on subway trains and used Metro stations as shelters, according to officers.

In one recent case, two girls were found at People's Square Metro Station just as it was about to close around 10:30pm on March 26, police said.

Crying and dragging a suitcase full of toys, the girls, one 11 years old and the other six, were taken to a police station.

The 11-year-old told police officers she took the younger girl and ran away from home after the six year old was beaten by her parents. The younger girl is the child of her family's tenant. Shanghai police said the girls were from Hangzhou City in neighboring Zhejiang Province and had contacted the parents.

The families arrived to take them home on March 27, police said.

In the other case, a 13-old-year boy was reunited with his family in Jiangxi Province after spending months in Shanghai handing out pamphlets on Metro trains, police said.

Police made a profile of the boy and matched him with his family, who called after seeing it online.

A nationwide campaign against child abduction was initiated in January among microbloggers. Commuters took snapshots of the child beggars in big cities and posted the pictures online, hoping their parents would find them.

Shanghai police profiles were first established after officer He Wei, based at People's Square Station, detected many child beggars stayed at the station for long periods.

He said some of them lost contact with their families or could not remember details that would help them find their hometowns.


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