The Ho Chi Minh City police arrested two men early Monday morning soon after they snatched a bag from a Russian tourist walking on the street.
The crime department officers chased after and kicked the motorbike of the robbers after they snatched the bag on Pham Ngu Lao Street in the backpacker area.
The police said they had been following the duo, both 20, after finding them driving around suspiciously at 4 a.m.
They returned the bag that contained some cash to the foreign tourist.
Vietnam has been making efforts to promote tourism, and foreign arrivals increased 16 percent in the first two months of this year from the same period last year, thanks largely to the 15-day visa waiver offered to tourists from many Asian and European countries including Russia.
But many tourists say they feel discouraged by reports of street crime, especially in large cities.
Street crime remains a popular topic on global travel forums about HCMC, where police last year worked on more than 130 robbery and snatch-and-run cases involving foreign tourists.
Robbers snatched a cell phone from a Polish woman last Thursday and a bag from an Egyptian woman a week earlier, both in broad daylight when they were busy checking maps. The robbers have not been arrested in either case.
The city is planning to set up a special police unit to protect tourists after getting regular complaints from foreign nations’ consulates about the safety of their citizens.