Dog thief killed after shooting at mob in central Vietnam

TN News

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Dogs found in a sack of three suspected  dog thieves arrested in the southern province of Tra Vinh on June 19

A mob beat a dog thief to death after he and another man wounded four of them with gunshots in the north-central province of Thanh Hoa on Wednesday.

Early that morning locals caught Pham Van Chien, 31, and an unidentified man stealing dogs in An Son Village, Thach Thanh District, local police told Thanh Nien.

Residents chased after the men, who, in return, shot at them with homemade guns, injuring four people, according to police.

But locals still managed to chase Chien down and beat him to death, while the other man managed to escape the mob, police said.

In other related news, police in the Mekong Delta  province of Tra Vinh on Wednesday arrested three men suspected of stealing dogs, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported.

They were apprehended when attempting to sell in the animals in Tra Vinh Town, police were quoted as saying, adding that they confiscated a sack containing eight dogs, one Taser, and two motorbikes from the men. 

The "professional dog thieves" allegedly stole several dogs from families in Chau Thanh and Cau Ngang districts by electrifying them with the Taser, according to the news report.

Police are investigating.

Dog theft is common in Vietnam. Stolen dogs can be sold for food for between VND100,000 and VND200,000 (US$4.8-$9.6) per kilogram.

The stolen dogs are often valued at less than VND2 million the threshold for criminal charges and thus thieves only face a fine.

Furious residents often take matters into their own hands, unleashing their rage on the thieves instead of handing them over to the police.

In most cases, police have been unable to pinpoint exactly who was responsible for the mob attacks and killings of alleged dog thieves.

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