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Bus robbery gang face charges for stabbing 4 passengers

SIX gangsters, who allegedly stabbed four passengers on a bus when their theft was thwarted, were arrested today on charges of robbery.

The four wounded passengers were honored by Shanghai Government on January 10 for heroism in trying to stop the six men from stealing two women.

The six offenders, all from Sichuan and Chongqing in southwest China, told Minhang District prosecutors that they usually got on a bus from both doors to sandwich those who wanted to get off.

"We go out for business together and select targets on the bus," said Che Shuiquan, one of the members. "As soon as one of us made it, we would all get off to look for the next target. We don't share stolen items. They go to the person who stole them."

These thieves always carried knives which gave them courage. When the "business" was done, the gang would leave in a rented minibus, the prosecutors learned.

Police found five of the six offenders had theft records.

The gang came to the Zhuhang station of Bus Line 729 on the afternoon of January 3. When a bus arrived, they got on from both doors and soon took aim at two women who wanted to get off.

A male passenger attempted to stop a thief from stealing a woman's bag. The gang turned on him and stabbed him and his three friends with knives, prosecutors said.

The gangsters escaped with their minibus after the stabbing. The four victims were sent to hospital for treatment.
All the members were caught two days later, including Xiang Ningling, 27, who drove the minibus for the gang.

Xiang said he was innocent because he did not join in the stealing and robbery. He said he charged each member 100 yuan (US$15) a day for transportation and he knew they were thieves.

The prosecutors, however, considered Xiang an accomplice because he helped the gang escape after he learned they had stabbed four passengers.


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