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January 18, 2011

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Judge warns of 'crazy' rail thieves

"CRAZY" thieves will try to rob travelers in the run-up to the Spring Festival, a judge warned yesterday, urging passengers to be vigilant.

People on a journey should keep their belongings close to them and be aware that thieves often strike at night, the Shanghai Railway Transport Intermediate Court said.

"Thieves become crazier in the period before the Spring Festival, when many people are return home for family reunions carrying a year's savings," said Mao Hezhen, a judge of the intermediate court.

Last year, the court, plus five other railway courts it oversees in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui provinces and Shanghai, dealt with 81 cases of theft targeting travelers. These led to 87 defendants being jailed.

About half of the thefts took place at railway stations and the remainder on trains. Stolen items included cash, cell phones, laptops and cameras, judges said.

Thieves who target railways face harsher penalties.


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