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July 26, 2011

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Thefts, sex attack net 2-year term

A migrant worker was sentenced to jail for two years and three months for theft and molestation, a local court said yesterday.

Zhang Gan, a 24-year-old migrant worker, was caught by local police in February after stealing from apartments next to the burned-down building where 58 people died in an inferno last November.

Zhang, unemployed, was making money two ways, the court learned: by stealing and by offering himself as a prostitute, which he publicized through fliers.

Months after the apartment building on Jiaozhou Road was engulfed by the deadly blaze, Zhang decided to try his luck at the two buildings standing next to it, the Jing'an District People's Court heard.

On February 24, Zhang entered the targeted building and soon fled with only about 1,200 yuan (US$186), after he woke up some residents. He broke into six households, but only two families reported the small loss.

Police tracked Zhang down after he left his shoes and heavy coat at the crime scene. He was arrested three days later at an Internet cafe.

To police's surprise, the DNA collected from Zhang's clothes matched a semen sample from a 2009 molestation case. Zhang admitted in court that he molested a young woman at knifepoint when he sneaked into her apartment on November 12, 2009.

Zhang pled guilty and received a light sentence. He was also fined 1,000 yuan.


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