It took nearly two hours to convince residents of a hamlet in Nghe An Province to allow two injured theft suspects to be taken to hospital early this morning, police said.
People in Nghi Xa Commune, Nghi Loc District had earlier taken two other suspects, who were in critical condition after being stabbed several times on their head and back, to the hospital.
The four were among a group of five who had allegedly broken into a local house at around 9 p.m. Thursday.
Some people in the house discovered the burglary and shouted for help.
Locals soon surrounded the place, chasing after the five men and managing to catch four.
They reportedly attacked them with knives and wooden sticks, causing severe injuries.
They took the two most seriously injured men to the hospital and refused to let the other two go.
An ambulance arrived at the scene at 11 p.m. and gave first aid but was not allowed to take them to the hospital.
It was only at 12:50 a.m. that the ambulance could take the two, one of whom had passed out, away from the mob.
The angry locals also burned down two motorbikes belonging to the suspects.
The police said all four men lived in a nearby commune, adding that investigations are ongoing.
Locals said they were very angry after more than a dozen motorbikes were stolen in the area in the last few days.