Court jails 2 bag snatchers in Saigon backpacker area

By Ngoc Le, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen is escorted by police after the trial on Thursday. Photo: Ngoc Le 
A Ho Chi Minh City court on Thursday sentenced a woman and a man to three and a half years each to prison for robbing foreign tourists in the city’s backpacker area.
According to the indictment, Nguyen Thi Hoang Yen, 23, and Pham Phuoc Thong, 21, were spotted by a team of plainclothes officers who were patrolling Bui Vien Street in District 1 at 1:45 a.m. on August 19, 2014.
The officers stalked the duo, who was driving around in a suspicious manner.
The duo approached a Russian woman walking down the street and Thong snatched her bag. Yen dangerously zig-zagged down the road in an attempt to escape the pursuing officers.
At the intersection of Bui Vien and Nguyen Cu Trinh, a pursuing cop kicked their bike, causing them to crash.
After the pair was arrested, police returned the bag containing a cell phone, jewelry and money to the Russian victim.
Yen was then released on bail, as she was raising an infant. 
Two months later, Yen and another accomplice robbed a Dutch woman of her handbag on Bui Vien Street. Yen was arrested by police officers while her accomplice fled the scene.
Yen told the court she needed money to raise her three children, as her husband walked out on her.

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