Saigon police detain 11 for series of convenience store robberies

By Nguyen Quy   July 2, 2018 | 08:25 pm PT
Saigon police detain 11 for series of convenience store robberies
The robber gang are held at a police station for investigation. Photo courtesy of District 10's police
The gang entered several 24/7 stores in groups of five to 10 after midnight.

Ho Chi Minh City police said they have arrested 11 young suspects accused of robbing many convenience stores in the city over the past two months, local media reported.

The arrest came several days after local media published camera footage of a group of audacious thieves walking into a convenience store on Ho Xuan Huong Street in District 3, armed with knives and other sharp objects, Saigon Giai Phong said.

Last weekend, the city police raided an internet shop in District 10 and took two suspected thieves to the police station for investigation. Based on their testimony, they quickly detained nine other alleged accomplices, boys 15 to 20 years old.

Police say the gang has carried out dozens of robberies at 24-hour convenience stores in the downtown area between April and June.

Their modus operandi was to enter a store in a group of five to 10 people, pick up the goods they wanted and flee the store as fast as possible.

If any employee tried to stop them, the gang members were willing to use knives or bottles inside the store as weapons to attack the staff, police said.

The number of convenience stores in HCMC grew by 5.1 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018 to over 1,800. Among these, nearly 1,200 stores are open 24 hours, with just one or two employees working the late hours, and no guards on duty. The robberies typically occurred between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.

Below is the footage from a program by national broadcaster VTV, showing one robbery that occurred at 1:30 a.m. at a convenience store on Ho Xuan Huong Street, District 3, and another at 2 a.m. in District 11.

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