Binh Dinh police arrested eight people for allegedly kidnapping and beating a man to death on September 28 because they suspected him of being a dog thief.
The suspects -- Vo Hong Hai, Nguyen Van Tan, Le Anh Son, Nguyen Thien Chien -- were arrested the same day for aggravated battery.
Pham Minh Hieu, Le Ba Hoang Trong Viet and Duong Ngoc Quy were arrested a day later on the same charge.
Vo Hong Phong faced the additional charge of robbery.
The eight detainees confessed that Hai had called the group while they were gathered at a café and told them he had spotted a fleeing dog thief.
They agreed to ambush the man at the Cam Tien Bridge in the province’s An Nhon Town.
At about 1 a.m. on September 28, the group pulled an electrical cord across the road causing the 46-year-old Nguyen Dinh Tan Sy and another unidentified man to fall off their bike.
The group arrested Sy and seized equipment typically associated with dog theft.
The other man escaped.
The group then tied the suspected dog thief up and beat him, before taking him to another location to continue their assault.
Once at the second location they reportedly phoned Sy’s wife, Pham Thi Duoc, and demanded VND10 million (US$471) for his release.
Duoc delivered VND9 million to Phong at around 5:10 a.m. and took her husband to Binh Dinh General Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Angry mobs have brutally assaulted dog thieves throughout Vietnam in acts of vigilante justice.
Thieves only face fines because stealing property valued at less than VND2 million is not a criminal offense.
For this reason, many suspect, communities fed up with dog rustling determine to take matters into their own hands.