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Teen takes hostage in robbery with fake gun

A teenager was taken into custody by police in Beijing yesterday after he took a cleaner hostage with a replica gun and tried to rob a bank.

Wearing sunglasses, the suspect, later identified as Shang, 17, entered the Yangqiao sub-branch of the China Construction Bank at 2:20pm yesterday, Xinhua news agency reported.

Brandishing the replica gun in the right hand and a knife in the left, he grabbed a female cleaner and demanded cash from the tellers.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after and apprehended Shang when he tried to escape with the money and hostage.

The hostage was released but her jaw and hand was slashed. She was taken to hospital but was not in a critical condition.

Police seized 140,000 yuan (US$20,500) of cash, the knife and the replica gun.

Shang from Zhuozhou City, Hebei Province, confessed to police, saying he lacked money, Xinhua reported.

He bought the replica gun for 20 yuan and spent 10 yuan on the knife on Wednesday, according to China National Radio.

Shang told police he had checked out two other banks but they were too close to police stations.

Some witnesses claimed up to five people participated in the robbery but police said no other people were involved.


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