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Suspected gangsters nabbed in robberies
( 2003-10-23 09:16) (China Daily)

Thirty gang members suspected of being responsible for hundreds of robberies in Dongguan, South China's Guangdong Province, since the start of the year have been rounded up by local police, authorities announced Wednesday.

According to an official from the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security, 90 gang suspects had been detained for questioning by October 15.

Dongguan is in the prosperous Pearl River Delta that borders Hong Kong and Macao.

Police have seized 503 mobile phones, 14 gold necklaces, rings and jewellery, more than 120,000 yuan (US$14,460) in cash and several motorcycles, the official said.

In addition to allegedly pickpocketing at big local shopping centres and department stores, it is claimed the gang members snatched bags and mobile phones from pedestrians - particularly single woman - while riding motorcycles.

They are believed to have been operating since the start of the year and have stolen from more than 120 people.

It is claimed the gang is also responsible for more than 500 robberies in Dongguan, taking more than 1,500 mobile phones in the first nine months of the year, the official said.

They allegedly sold the phones in their stores in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan and other cities in Guangdong.

With the help of undercover agents, police started arresting members of the gang at the beginning of the month, after several weeks of investigation.

"The crackdown has put the breaks on the number of robberies in the region and contributed to a better social environment," the official said.

He said the suspects included local jobless residents and people from Anhui, Hunan, Jiangxi and Sichuan provinces and the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Many of them are drug addicts, it is claimed.

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