A local official in northern Vietnam’s Thanh Hoa Province on Saturday confirmed that two men suspected of stealing dogs were clubbed to death by local residents on Friday, while two others are critically injured.
According to Le Van Diep, chair of the Thach Binh Commune People’s Committee in the province’s Thach Thanh mountainous district, locals spotted four men lurking in the neighborhood on Friday afternoon.
The gang, who were carrying electrocution device and nooses, were caught red-handed stealing locals’ dogs around 11pm the same day.
They even fought back vehemently with their home-made guns when being chased by locals.
Enraged, local residents managed to seize the four, who all reside in Thach Thanh District, and beat them up.
The clubbing killed Nguyen Van Ngan on the spot, while Nguyen Van Dung died on the way to hospital.
Bui Van Thao and Quach Van Duong are seriously injured by the beating and are receiving medical attention at the district’s general hospital.
Colonel Le Trung Hieu, spokesperson of the provincial police, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) Newspaper on Saturday afternoon that the local police are gathering evidence and investigating witnesses for further probe.
According to local residents, numerous dog thefts have occurred throughout the district in recent years, with several dog thieves beaten up by outraged locals.
The clubbing is not an isolated case in Vietnam in the past few years.
In June 2013, residents in a village in Tan Thanh commune in central Nghe An Province found two suspects who fled on a motorcycle with a dog and chased after them.
While being chased, the suspects crashed and they were clubbed by the furious villagers. Their vehicle was also set on fire.
The two suspects were later identified as brothers Nguyen Trong Hoa and Nguyen Trong Minh, hailing from Dien Lam commune, also in Nghe An.
Hoa died on the way to hospital.
Other fights have erupted between dog bandits and dog owners in Nghe An province.
In June 2012, dozens of people in Ngoc Son commune in Nghe An’s Quynh Luu district chased after two dog bandits and beat one of them to death. Their motorcycle was also set on fire.
In November 2011, a 26 year-old man who was being chased after stealing several dogs died after falling into a ditch near a bridge in Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province.
He and his accomplice were seized, along with their bike, a battery accumulator used to kill animals, and three dead dogs.
That same month, police in Nghe An Province’s Vinh City indicted a thief for illegal detention after he attempted to steal dogs and then kept a 5-year-old girl hostage.
In July 2011, a young man was caught red handed stealing dogs in Nghe An Province’s Hung Dong commune and was beaten unconscious by local residents.
In September the same year, two dog thieves shot and killed a man before taking his dog.
In mid June this year, three young people, aged 18 and 19, died when their motorbike crashed into a wall after they were allegedly shot with a stun gun by dog thieves in Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi District.