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March 27, 2012

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Man who failed robbery, lied about crime, sentenced

A young man who tried to rob a shop with a toy gun and then pretended to be a crime victim was sentenced to 20 months in prison yesterday in Jinshan District People's Court.

The suspect surnamed Wu, about 20, tried to rob a small shop in Jinshan District on the night of December 16, 2011. The store owner. surnamed Zhu, claimed to have linked the surveillance camera with a police alarm, which scared Wu, who then fled.

While on the run, Wu feared that he might have been snapped by the camera and decided to turn himself in. But he lied to the police, claiming that he was also robbed by a gunman who took his cell phone and cash.

Police were suspicious of how Wu could remember so many details of the robber. His lies were exposed after police found his cell phone with him. Police said Wu was in fact describing his own body features when he described the appearance of the suspect.

Wu confessed that he had been jobless for a long time and was often in economic trouble. The idea of robbing a shop suddenly occurred to him when he passed Zhu's shop, he said. Wu said he went back to his apartment, put on a mask, hat and gloves and took a toy gun with him. But he didn't expect that he would be resisted by the shop owner.

Wu said he pretended to be the victim instead of surrendering to the police because he was afraid of the punishment.

"I know armed robbery is a very serious crime," he said. "I thought my life would be ruined if I were jailed for 10 years."


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