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December 30, 2013

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Police nab suspect in bracelet theft case

A MAN who allegedly stole a 20,000 yuan (US$3,294) gold bracelet from Wing On department store in Shanghai last Tuesday was caught by police on Saturday in Zhouning City, Fujian Province.

Officers said they recovered the stolen bracelet.

The 28-year-old alleged thief, surnamed Xiao, was escorted back to Shanghai by police yesterday.

Officers said Xiao had a gambling problem and was deep in debt.

“I was nervous when I wore the bracelet. My hands were shaking.” Xiao told police.

Xiao told officers he sold the bracelet for 14,700 yuan the night of the robbery and squandered the money gambling.

He visited Wing On twice on Tuesday. The first time he looked at the bracelet, which weighed 70 grams, he opted not to steal it as the sales person held the other end.

Police said he returned to the counter about an hour later.

After trying on the bracelet, he fled, the store’s video camera footage showed.

He fled too quickly for the shocked security guards and sales personnel to catch him, said Sun Li, assistant manager of Wing On’s security service department.

Xiao admitted to police he had visited another jewelry shop earlier that day but gave up due to tight security. Police said he chose the jewelry counter at Wing On because it is on the first floor and only about 20 meters from the door.

Surveillance cameras showed Xiao was familiar with the escape route.

Xiao left Shanghai for his hometown around 1am last Thursday. With the help of local police, Xiao was seized at his uncle’s home in Zhouning.

Xiao, a native of Fujian Province, started to gamble in 2011. He took a 200,000 yuan loan from Ping’an Bank and spent most of the money gambling, according to police.

He had 58,000 yuan in credit card debt and had multiple personal loans. As payment deadlines drew close, he decided to commit a heist, police said.

After the incident, security was beefed up at the department store and police increased patrols in the area.



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