Dog thief electrocutes owner to death

By Nam An   March 29, 2021 | 05:00 am PT
Dog thief electrocutes owner to death
Police inspect the scene where a dog thief fled after killing a dog and its owner in Long An Province in southern Vietnam, March 27, 2021. Photo by VnExpress/Van Dat.
Huynh Thanh Hai, 44, was shot dead with a homemade stun gun as he tried to apprehend dog thieves who’d just shot his pet dead.

The shocking incident happened after midnight on Saturday in the southern province of Long An. Provincial police have arrested the three men involved. One of them will be charged with homicide.

According to the police, Nguyen Van Chon and Tran Van Thuan, both residents of Long An, visited another man identified only as Tram at the latter’s house in Dong Thap Province last Friday.

After consuming some narcotics together, all three returned to Long An late in the night to steal dogs owned by locals. Chon rode pillion with Tram while Thuan drove another motorbike. The three men took homemade stun guns and a battery with them.

After successfully stealing two dogs alive from a house in Long An’s Tan Hung District, they moved to Hai’s house. However, his dog died after they shot it with the stun gun. Hai woke up on hearing the commotion and tried to stop the thieves even as he shouted out for help.

As they tried to escape, Chon fired his stun gun, hitting Hai in the hip. Hai collapsed immediately.

Chon asked Tram to flee with him, but the latter decided to stay back and help the family take Hai to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

Tram was detained early Saturday morning. Chon had fled on foot, leaving behind his jacket and the homemade gun. He called Thuan and the duo fled to Dong Thap on one motorbike.

Police found them Sunday afternoon, hiding at a hotel in Thap Muoi District.

Chon will face charges of homicide while Thuan and Tram will be investigated for property theft.

Vietnam consumes an estimated five million dogs a year, second only to China's 20 million. Many dogs served at restaurants are stolen pets sold to small, unregulated abattoirs.

Dog theft is treated as a crime only when the stolen dogs are valued at more than VND2 million ($86). Vietnam has no law against trading in and consuming dog meat.

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