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Police arrest thieves in ‘backpacker area’ in Ho Chi Minh City

Monday, September 01, 2014, 14:22 GMT+7
Police arrest thieves in ‘backpacker area’ in Ho Chi Minh City
Foreigners are seen on a sidewalk in the “backpacker area” in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City in this file photo.

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have detained two young sisters and two young men for snatching belongings from foreigners in the city’s “backpacker area.”

>> Vietnam police nab cabby for snatching phone from Finnish tourist >> Vietnam police detain 2 for snatching handbag from Spanish woman >> Vietnam police arrest man for snatching i-Phone from New Zealander

Nguyen Thi Hoang Oanh, a 19-year-old woman, and Le Thanh Son, a 22-year-old man, were arrested at 3:00 am on Sunday after they snatched a handbag from an Irish woman, Grace Angela, 25, on Do Quang Dau Street in Pham Ngu Lao Ward, District 1.

This neighborhood, centered on Pham Ngu Lao and Bui Vien Streets of southern Vietnam’s economic hub, is called the “backpacker area,” since a large community of foreigners lives or stays in the immediate vicinity. Oanh and Son had driven their motorbike throughout downtown District 1 before targeting Angela, who was walking alone, police said.

At the time of the incident, a police team was patrolling nearby, and they pursued the thieves, eventually arresting them at the Kieu Bridge in District 3.

The police recovered the handbag from the robbers and returned it to Angela.

On August 19, Oanh’s elder sister, Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen, 22, and a young man, Pham Phuoc Thong, 20, were detained after they also snatched a handbag from a Russian woman, Anna Volcovict, 29.

At 1:45 am, while Volcovict was standing in front of house No. 158 on Bui Vien Street, Yen and Thong approached her on a motorbike.

Thong snatched the woman’s handbag and Yen attempted to speed off.

Members of a police task force who had followed Yen and Thong immediately chased after them and seized the two.

The officers who had been patrolling the “backpacker area” decided to follow the snatchers because they looked suspicious, police said.

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