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December 7, 2010

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Thieves grab jade worth US$3.7m

CULTURAL relics said to be worth 25 million yuan (US$3.76 million) have been stolen from the Shanghai home of an antiques expert, police said yesterday.

Zhang Song, director of the Cultural Relics Identification Center under the city's Federation of Literary and Art Circles, called the police at 9pm last Thursday and said jade items valued at 25 million yuan had been stolen from his home in Baoshan District, police said.

It is unclear whether the stolen items were Zhang's or belonged to the center.

A colleague said that Zhang was not at work yesterday, while at the house Zhang's mother said her son was not at home either.

An official with the neighborhood committee surnamed Chen said a house upstairs was also burgled the same day.

Chen said 46-year-old Zhang lived with his mother on the ground floor of a six-story building in a neighborhood called No. 7 Haibing Village.

A woman living on the second floor of the building said Zhang's mother lived there on her own for most of the time. Her son would drop by occasionally, she said.

A security guard on duty on the day of the theft said it could have taken place on Thursday afternoon when both Zhang and his mother were out. He said he and other guards had been distracted on that day because of a car accident in the neighborhood.

Neighbors said they did not know Zhang's profession nor that he might have had some valuable cultural relics at his home.

All the windows of Zhang's home have steel bars and the walls round the back yard also have steel barriers to prevent anyone from climbing over. Each building has a security gate.

In the neighborhood, security guards write down the plate numbers of all the vehicles entering and question unfamiliar people.


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