Former 'rich kid' steals luxury products from HCMC shopping mall

By Nhat Vy   February 29, 2024 | 04:40 pm PT
Former 'rich kid' steals luxury products from HCMC shopping mall
Phan Van Chien as seen in a security camera footage at a shopping center in HCMC's District on Jan. 21, 2024 and when arrested by the police on Feb. 29, 2024. Photo by police
HCMC police have arrested a man claiming to come from a family that used to be rich after he stole branded jewelry and wallets worth VND3 billion (US$122,000) from a downtown shopping center.

Pham Van Chien, 32, is being investigated for "property theft," police said Thursday.

According to the police, Chien wore fashionable, branded clothes and visited the stores of Tiffany & Co and Hermes at a shopping mall in District 1 on Jan. 21.

At the Tiffany & Co store, he asked the staff to see luxury pieces of jewelry and was invited into the VIP corner.

He kept asking for information about the products and as a female staff turned away to get more jewelry for him to see, he snatched three bracelets worth a total VND2.6 billion and put them into a paper bag he carried with him.

Then he made an excuse to leave the store to receive a phone call and got away.

A few days later, he returned to the same shopping mall and visited a Hermes store.

He used the same trick, asking the staff to present him with the most expensive wallets and clutches.

Then he stole two clutches and a wallet that cost VND450 million in total.

After the two stores reported the crime, District 1 police extracted security camera footage and identified Chien as the main suspect.

Branded products stolen by Chien as seized by HCMC police. Photo by police

Branded products stolen by Pham Van Chien as seized by HCMC police. Photo by police

Under detention, Chien admitted to stealing from the two stores and returned to the police all the products he had taken.

He told police that he came from a family that was rich and had gotten used to using luxury-brand products.

Lately, his family's business declined, prompting him to steal them.

He added that he was going to sell the products to get money for daily spending.

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