Gold thief captured four months after daring half a million dollar heist

By Viet Dung   May 26, 2016 | 03:40 am PT
White-collar worker Vu Duy Kien spent months planning the robbery but it turned out to be as simple as driving away in a car loaded with gold.

In October last year, Kien came up with an ambitious but risky plan of robbing a profitable jewelry shop in Ha Dong District where he lives in Hanoi.

Kien had fallen into debt and owed the banks and his friends $18,000.

As the detailed plan came together, he also stole the equipment he would need such as gloves and tools to break into the vehicle used by the shop to transport jewelry. As a communications officer, Kien had previously made some short films about crime, so he had a basic idea about what he was doing.

In January, he drove a pickup truck to the shop on a trial run to see whether he would be able to break into the owner’s car, and he succeeded. He then drove his truck away and walked back to see what the owner's reaction would be when he found the car open. To his amazement, the owner hadn't noticed and was loading a large amount of gold into the vehicle.

When the owner returned to the shop, Kien hopped into the car and drove off, much to the surprise of local people.

He then dumped the car and took a taxi to where he'd left his truck and made his getaway.

In total he made off with gold and cash worth $670,000. He then melted the gold down and hid it in a deserted temple near his house.

When the owner reported the case to police, they thought he had made the story up because they didn't believe someone could be so careless with such a large volume of gold.

After an initial investigation, the police started to believe the owner but the only clue they had was that the robber had used a pickup truck. Another search found that there were about 1,500 trucks in the city that matched Kien's.


Kien was arrested four months after the heist. Photo by VnExpress. 

However, police finally caught up with him after he sold a large amount of gold to buy a luxury apartment and car, and opened billion-dong bank accounts.

Police have seized the stolen gold and Kien will face criminal charges.

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