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Shanghai taxis targeted by thieves, police warn

POLICE are warning taxi drivers and cab companies to step up surveillance on parked taxis after a string of thefts. License plates, onboard GPS systems, taxi meters and LCD screens have all been stolen from cabs recently.

One of the latest victims is Jiang Hanzhong, who drives for Dazhong Taxi. The middle-aged cabbie told Baoshan District police two wheels were stolen from his cab when it was parked inside his residential compound. Last Thursday he found his cab leaning on its side at 6:45am. Two new wheels, worth 600 yuan (US$87), had been stolen.

"The cost is the same as two-days' revenue," Jiang told Shanghai Daily. "And my shift partner and I can't work while the cab's being repaired."

More and more taxis are targeted by thieves when they are left unattended at night, according to taxi bosses.

Some cabs were broken into and had their GPS systems, fare meters and onboard LCD screens stolen. Some cabbies also reported losing license plates.

"Some cabbies had their license plates stolen and were then sent traffic tickets, which means the stolen plates were being used on another car," said Guan Lu, from the No. 3 Branch of Dazhong Taxi. The stolen meters and plates were probably used to make "cloned taxis," unlicensed cabs done up to look like regular cabs, Guan said.


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