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August 10, 2013

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Trio with TB held over 100 burglaries

POLICE donned gauze face masks to question suspected burglars who are infected with tuberculosis about more than 100 break-ins.

The three men have since been detained in the Pudong New Area in connection with the thefts around Shanghai involving property and cash totaling 700,000 yuan (US$114,310).

During interviews, in which both officers and suspects wore protective masks, the men admitted to 30 burglaries in May in Putuo, Changning and Hongkou districts and 70 in Pudong since July, police said yesterday.

Several households in a residential community in Pudong reported property stolen overnight on July 13.

One householder reported that he had a laptop, watch, digital camera and 3,000 yuan in cash taken.

Most of the victims lived in high rises and didn’t close their windows at night, said police.

Investigations showed that the burglars targeted high rises and broke in around 3am, when most residents were asleep.

The thieves would climb into an apartment, move belongings to the balcony and sort valuables there.

Then they would climb down with their haul, police said.

After questioning residents and examining surveillance camera footage, police traced the suspects to Pujiang Town in Minhang District.

On July 18, three suspects were held as they returned home carrying luggage filled with stolen goods, said police.

Police said the men tried to get immunity from criminal punishment, saying they had an infectious disease.

Medical checkups showed the suspects were suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis.

While it can be fatal, TB can be treated effectively with drugs. It is spread by breathing in air droplets from a cough or sneeze of an infected person.

Investigations are continuing.


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