Alleged dog thieves beaten unconscious in central Vietnam

TN News

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A mob beat two men unconscious and burned down their motorbike on suspicion that they had stolen dogs in the north-central province of Quang Binh on Thursday.

Initial information from police was that a group of locals in Bac Ly Ward, Dong Hoi Town, stopped Tran Van Lam, 41, and Hoang Dinh, 25, who were riding a bike, and attacked them.

At first Lam and Dinh fought back with "weapons," but they soon fled on the bike, as more people gathered.

However, the men fell off their bike, leaving it behind and running away on foot.

But, they were soon caught by local people and beaten unconscious, while the bike was set ablaze. 

Following tips, local police arrived at the site and rushed the men to the hospital. They also confiscated a sack containing two dogs, knives, chains and a pack of food allegedly used to drug dogs.

Some locals told police that they attacked the men, because they had "many suspicious acts," which led them to believe they were dog thieves.

Police are investigating the case.

Meanwhile, a source from Vietnam Cuba Dong Hoi Friendship Hospital told Thanh Nien that Tam and Dinh had recovered and been discharged from the hospital.

Dogs are often stolen in Vietnam and sold to restaurants where their meat is considered a delicacy. A kilogram of the meat now sells for around VND120,000 (US$6).

In response to the crime, many communities have turned to vigilante justice, with mobs often beating up and badly injuring and even killing suspected dog thieves in the northern and central regions, including Hanoi.

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However, thieves have recently started to fight back.

In one of the latest cases, an official from the People's Committee in the northern province of Bac Ninh was shot to death Wednesday by dog thieves. He had been chasing the two men who were riding a motorbike after stealing his dog.

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