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August 26, 2011

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Power company meter checker stabbed dead

AN employee of a power company service outlet was stabbed to death by a resident yesterday afternoon in the suburban Baoshan District following a quarrel, police said.

The victim, surnamed Jin, a 49-year-old meter checker, was seen lying in blood after being stabbed in the chest, witnesses said.

The suspect, 27, is a tenant of a residential area nearby. He was angry about power charges and was arguing with Jin over the bill.

The suspect, not identified, lived alone and was an introvert, according to his neighbors.

The stabbing occurred about noon at a branch of the Shanghai Power Electric Co, Ltd, the city's power supplier, at 1138 Gongjiang Road, Baoshan, police said.

The suspect and Jin argued in the lobby, and when others tried to cool them down, the suspect suddenly took out a knife and stabbed Jin, witnesses said. The suspect then ran out of the outlet but was caught by security guards.

"I thought they were chasing after a thief and later I realized it should be way more serious when I saw a man in uniform lying in blood," a witness said. "The suspect seemed to be shocked, himself."

Residents in the neighborhood said they often saw Jin checking power meters and said he seldom quarreled with people. Jin had an 11-year-old daughter, they said.

The power company refused to comment on the case yesterday but complained that there had been residents making trouble in its outlets after their power supply was cut off for not paying the bills.

"There was a man sitting and lying in front of our building last Thursday to protest us," said Wang Changxing, a media officer of the Shibei Branch of the company.


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