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April 25, 2014

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Gold thief given prison sentence, fine

A MAN who stole a 20,000 yuan (US$3,200) gold bracelet from a city center department store on Christmas Eve was yesterday sentenced to 22 months in prison and fined 2,000 yuan at the Huangpu District People’s Court.

The 29-year-old, surnamed Xiao, twice visited the Wing On store on the evening of December 24 with the intention of stealing the 70 gram bracelet, the court heard.

Police said on his first attempt Xiao was foiled as the sales assistant didn’t let go of the piece. But on his return an hour later he was allowed to try it on, which he did, then ran for the exit.

Xiao managed to evade capture that night and later fled to his hometown of Zhouning City in Fujian Province. However, as the theft was captured on the store’s security cameras, police were able to trace him to Zhouning and with the assistance of local officers detained him at his uncle’s home.

Xiao confessed to selling the bracelet for 14,700 yuan on the night of the robbery and gambling away the proceeds. He told police he chose the jewelry counter at Wing On because of its proximity to the exit.

The store said it has since improved its security.

Police said that Xiao has been gambling since 2011, which he funded with a 200,000 yuan loan from Ping’an Bank.


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