A 27-year-old man was beaten to death by hundreds of people who were pounced on him for attacking a man whose dog he tried to steal in the central province of Nghe An Sunday.
Hoang Cong Hiep and another man tried to steal the animal from Pham Ba Cay's house in Xuan Phuc village when Cay confronted them, Vietnamnet reported.
He grabbed one of them and called for help.
The thieves attacked him with long knives and fled after he collapsed due to severe injuries.
But they were soon surrounded by hundreds of locals who heard about the attack.
Hiep's accomplice managed to escape, but he was beaten to pulp and the angry mob also burned down their motorbike.
Police arrived following tip-offs and tried to take Hiep to hospital, but he died in the ambulance.
The police are investigating.
Dogs are usually targeted by thieves 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 dog thieves in the northern and central regions, including Hanoi.
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