A commune police chief was seriously injured in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa after being attacked by two dog thieves, Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) Newspaper reported Monday.
Duong Van Tue, 31, of Ha Lan Commune in Bim Son Town, is being treated at Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi for multiple injuries.
At around 9 p.m. last Thursday, Tue was informed that a dog theft had occurred in the commune's Xuan Noi Village.
When the two officers rushed to the scene, they spotted two men on a motorbike carrying a sack they believed to contain a dog.
The officers signaled the men to stop. Instead, the suspects jumped off their bike and attacked the cops with iron bars.
Tue was brutally beaten about the head, face and arms. The other cop managed to flee the scene and call for backup.
With the help of nearby residents, one of the two men, Le Van Thuc, 29, was overpowered and arrested.
Tue was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries.
Police are still searching for the other dog thief.
On June 19, a dog thief was nearly killed by an angry mob in Thanh Hoa’s Thanh Son Commune and was only saved after police arrived at the scene.
Dog theft is common in Vietnam, with the dogs sold for VND60,000-120,000 (US$3-6) per kilogram to restaurants or slaughterhouses for food.
Many people have turned to vigilante justice to deal with dog thefts, beating up and badly injuring and even killing dog thieves or suspects. They believe that fines are not enough and stealing dogs should be considered a serious criminal offense.
There have been many deaths in confrontations between dog thieves and owners in Vietnam, especially in northern and central regions, including Hanoi.
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