Police in Da Lat, a popular tourist city in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, confirmed on Sunday that they had busted a pickpocket gang that stole from dozens of tourists.
The gang includes six members who all hail from southern Dong Nai Province, the Department of Public Security in Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province stated.
Officers previously launched an investigation into the case after receiving multiple reports from the victims, who said they lost their phones and wallets while visiting the city.
Police then reviewed CCTV footage and went undercover as tourists at famous and crowded destinations to look for suspicious signs.
|From left: Hoang Anh Duy, Le Thanh Hai, Thai Van Hiep, and Phan Van Lam. Photo: Pham Ngan / Tuoi Tre|
On Saturday evening, several teams of officers managed to capture all six members of the pickpocket gang, namely Le Thi Bach Tuyet, 44, Le Thi Thu Ba, 50, Thai Van Hiep, 48, Phan Van Lam, 48, Hoang Anh Duy, 59, and Le Thanh Hai, 39.
They also confiscated a car, 26 phones, a handbag, and about VND50 million (US$2,140) in cash.
Tuyet, Ba, and Hiep were identified as the leaders of the group.
The gang members traveled from Thong Nhat District, Dong Nai Province to Da Lat City in an automobile on Friday with a scheme to pickpocket tourists at crowded places.
|Mobile phones are confiscated from the pickpocket gang in Da Lat City, Vietnam. Photo: Pham Ngan / Tuoi Tre|
Ba and Tuyet pretended to be visitors so that they could easily approach their prey and steal from them, while Hiep stayed nearby to monitor the situation and offer assistance.
Duy was in charge of taking the stolen items from Ba and Tuyet to Lam, while Hai was the car driver.
The gang managed to pickpocket dozens of victims within only two days.
Most of the members were previously convicted of theft and drug-related offenses, according to officers.
Police in Da Lat have called on all victims to come to their station to make reports and facilitate further investigation into the case.
|The automobile belonging to the pickpocket gang is seen in Da Lat City, Vietnam. Photo: Pham Ngan / Tuoi Tre|