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Taxi swindler detained

PUDONG New Area police has detained a man who allegedly ripped off taxi drivers 1,209 times in Shanghai and several other provinces, officers said yesterday.

The suspect surnamed Li, a Guangdong Province native, pretended to be a potential guest of luxury hotels by calling them to book rooms and taxis to pick him up.

Li allegedly asked drivers if he could borrow cash and cell phones using various excuses on their way to hotels and then ran off with them.

He allegedly kept a record of all the swindles in Beijing, Hong Kong, Chongqing, Shanghai and nearby provinces since 2007 on his computer.

Pudong police discovered six such cases in the city when analyzing reports at the end of June. After interviewing the victims, police suspected they were all the work of one man, aged about 40 and probably coming from southern China. Police then increased patrols in likely areas. They caught Li on Pudong's Dongfang Road last Thursday.

After questioning, Li admitted he had committed 1,209 swindles. Police also found records of theses crimes on his computer.


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