Undercover police in Ho Chi Minh City caught members of a pickpocket gang red-handed targeting a patient at a major hospital earlier this week.
Officers in District 5 confirmed on Thursday that they had collected statements from Vo Thi Mai Thy, 48, Chau Thi Thuy Sam, 48, Nguyen Van Lai, 30, and Tran Van Chien, 36, to facilitate their investigation.
The District 5 police unit launched the investigation into the case following reports that people had recently been pickpocketed at major hospitals in the district.
The gang was said to include three to five members who typically operated between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm.
|From left: Vo Thi Mai Thy, Chau Thi Thuy Sam, Nguyen Van Lai, and Tran Van Chien. Photo: Ngoc Khai / Tuoi Tre|
Each member was in charge of different tasks, including stealing from the victims, distracting them, keeping watch, and hiding stolen items.
Officers managed to pinpoint the suspects and identify them at the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Traumatology and Orthopedics at around 5:00 am on Wednesday.
The racket then moved to Cho Ray Hospital, where three of them entered the infirmary while the others stayed outside and kept watch.
At around 6:40 am the same day, undercover officers noticed that the gang members were targeting a woman as she was waiting for a health check-up.
|Motorbikes belonging to members of the pickpocket gang are seized by police officers in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Ngoc Khai / Tuoi Tre|
The suspects staged a scene where they jostled through the crowd and took the wallet from the victim’s jacket.
Officers caught the gang red-handed and took them to the police station.
They also seized the wallet, which contained VND5 million (US$214), and returned it to the owner.
Preliminary information showed that Thy, who was once convicted of theft, was the kingpin of the pickpocket gang.
The ring had stolen about VND25 million ($1,070) from at least five victims at hospitals in District 5.