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July 20, 2010

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Dads' sentences upheld after they forced their kids to steal

TWO fathers who helped their children break into homes to steal items valued at nearly 500,000 yuan (US$73,746) have had their original jail sentences of 13 years upheld by the Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court recently.

Chen Jianguo and Chen Jianshu, both fathers from Sichuan Province, each used their own daughter and nephew to steal because they are all minors. They thought the children wouldn't be criminally punished if they were caught by police.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate Prosecutors' Office suggested the court uphold the sentences. Prosecutors said yesterday that the duo were heartless because they used their own children to commit crimes and tried to shift blame after the case was uncovered.

Chen Jianguo brought his daughter Chen Yufen and Chen Jianshu brought his daughter Chen Caofang to Shanghai in 2007, planning to make a fortune. The fathers soon tricked their nephews, Yang Xuebing and An Fei, to come to the city by saying they could study welding techniques.

They targeted old residential communities without security guards and effective theftproof facilities and directed the children to steal at night.

The fathers usually waited outside to keep watch while the children climbed into the rooms and stole cash, laptops and jewelry, prosecutors said.

When they were caught, the group had conducted more than 60 thefts in five districts. The stolen items were valued at about 500,000 yuan.

The children said they were taught to steal by the two fathers and that they would be beaten if they disobeyed.

They even called Chen Jianshu "Lao Da," or gang leader in Chinese.

"My father often searched us to make sure we didn't hide anything," Chen Caofang told the court.

When the adults were caught, they tried to shift blame to the children.

Chen Jianguo said the children wanted to steal things and asked him to lead the way.

The Shanghai No. 2 Intermediate People's Court ruled the two men committed larceny as they used the minors as tools to steal.


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