Close early, Hanoi police advise gold shops

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Police in Hanoi have urged local jewelry and gold shops not to stay open after 6 p.m. as it would make it easier for thieves to attack them, VnExpress newswire reported Tuesday.

At a meeting with representatives from nearly 300 local shops on Monday, Nguyen Duc Chung, deputy chief of Hanoi police, said: "In other countries, gold and jewelry shops often close before 6 p.m., but here in our country, some shops open up to 8 p.m.

"This is considered one weakness that criminals exploit to commit crimes."

The newswire quoted police as saying the thieves often attack at noon, late in the afternoon, or after 6 p.m., adding that criminals often disguise themselves with masks and use guns, knives, and tear gas.

Of late, not just locals, but foreigners have started committing crimes, Chung stressed.

He advised businesses to learn about new tricks and schemes that criminals use, and popularize them among their staff so the latter know how to respond in certain situations.

He pointed out that in recent attacks, some shop owners failed to recruit the right people as their security guards and assistants, allowing the latter to join hands with criminals to rob them.

Meanwhile, many businesses aren't equipped with cameras and alarm systems, he noted.

In Hai Ba Trung District, for example, nearly 300 gold and jewelry shops and bank branches did business,  but 90 of these did not have cameras and nearly 200 did not have alarm systems.

The VnExpress report said that on October 15, Hanoi police will conduct their first ever drill against gold shop thieves.

"Those who plan to rob gold shops will understand that they won't easily get away from the police and will see how they will be shot down," the report quoted Hanoi police chief Nguyen Duc Nhanh as saying.

It also quoted Vu The Hung, deputy chief of the inspectorate under the Hai Ba Trung District's police division, as saying that the capital has recently seen a spate of attacks on gold and jewelry businesses. In one of the latest cases, the local Ruby Plaza Center had diamonds worth nearly US$80,000 stolen.

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