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Two nailed for snatching bag from foreigner in Saigon ‘backpacker area’

Thursday, June 04, 2015, 14:04 GMT+7
Two nailed for snatching bag from foreigner in Saigon ‘backpacker area’
A handcuffed criminal is seen in this photo illustration.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday chased and arrested two men who snatched a handbag from a young British woman in an area known as the “Westerner’s zone” or “backpacker area,” Vietnamese media reported.

>> An audio version of the story is available here

>> Briton dragged down street by bag snatchers in downtown Ho Chi Minh City The two detainees are Le Hoang Ngoc Thao, 21, and Le Van Sy, 16, both of whom live in District 1, while their victim is a 19-year-old British woman, Jennifer Stainton, according to Cong An Nhan Dan (People’s Police) newspaper. The two street robbers will be charged with “property robbery by snatching” under Article 136 of the Penal Code. According to the case file, after detecting Thao and Sy traveling suspiciously on a motorbike in Pham Ngu Lao Ward in District 1 at 2:30 am yesterday, a patrol police team secretly followed them on their bike. The ward is often known as the “backpacker area” because it is home to a community of foreigners who visit the city as tourists. 

When the two men reached Pham Ngu Lao Street, Thao approached the young foreign woman with a handbag on her shoulder. At that moment, Sy, who was riding pillion, snatched the bag from the woman and Thao then sped away. Immediately, the police team chased after the snatchers while the victim was so terrified that she could not cry for help.

The chase took place through several streets and ended up at the intersection of Co Giang and Ho Hao Hon Streets, when the police officers caught up with the street robbers and one officer kicked their bike, causing both Thao and Sy to fall to the ground.

The police team seized Thao at once while Sy tried to run but was caught after a short chase.

The policemen recovered from the robbers the handbag, which contained an iPhone, a Visa credit card and cash, and returned it to the victim.

The two thieves confessed to the police that 30 minutes before they targeted the British woman, they had taken a cellphone from another foreigner in the same area.

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