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Car snatcher deceives owners as used car buyer

A man who allegedly cheated a driver to get out of a Mini Cooper and quickly drove the car away has been charged with forcible seizure, Shanghai prosecutors said today.

The suspect, surnamed Qu, pretended to buy a second-hand Mini Cooper and met the owner for a test drive in Pudong New Area last December.

Prosecutors said Qu claimed the car's exhaust pipe was not work well and asked the owner to get off the car and check the abnormal noise of the pipe. When the unsuspecting owner bent down to check it, Qu gunned the car away and disappeared.

Qu said he gave the stolen Mini Cooper, worth nearly 230,000 yuan (US$36,400), to his girlfriend as a gift. He also confessed to using the same trick to snatch a Honda from an unlicensed cabbie last October.

He told the cabbie that his Honda exhaust pipe was leaking water which could rust the car and cause sputtering. As the cabbie went to check the problem, Qu drove away the Honda and sold it for 10,000 yuan.


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