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January 4, 2010

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Teen who died trying to catch thieves a hero

A COLLEGE student who was stabbed to death while chasing pickpocket suspects on Thursday in Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, was awarded 150,000 yuan (US$21,968) and honored as a hero on Saturday.

Yang Jiyuan, a senior student at Zhejiang University of Technology, was acknowledged posthumously by Hangzhou's foundation for "people who stand up for what is right," and the university called him an outstanding student leader, according to Xinhua news agency.

Yang, 21, was from Jixian County of Tianjin Municipality, the report said.

Yang's online signature was, "A man can be penniless or talentless but is not allowed a lack of responsibility," which has now become many people's motto.

Nearly 10,000 people attended Yang's funeral at the university on Friday, the Oriental Morning Post reported yesterday. On the same day, all the four pickpocket suspects were detained.

Yang was hanging out with friends on New Year's Eve when he saw the pickpockets at a milk tea stand near the north gate of the university.

Yang was stabbed by one of the four suspects while trying to apprehend them. He died in the hospital early on Friday.

Meanwhile, another man was stabbed to death while trying to nab suspected pickpockets on Friday in Guangzhou, capital of southern Guangdong Province.

Nobody tried to assist Ye Zhiqing but witnessed he was stabbed in the stomach in a fight with three of the suspects.

He died in hospital after 20 minutes of emergency treatment.

His nephew Ye Yonghua was also seriously hurt and left unconscious, Guangzhou-based Information Times reported yesterday.

Ye Yonghua was stabbed in the leg by a suspected pickpocket on Thursday when he helped a young shop assistant to take back her mobile phone at a local market.

Ye Yonghua told Ye Zhiqing what had happened and the two decided to catch thieves at the market the next day, the report said.

Ye Zhiqing has not yet been named a hero as the suspects have not been captured.

Most major Chinese cities have set up non-governmental foundations to reward "people who stand up for what is right."


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