Dog thief sentenced to death in northern Vietnam

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The crime scene where a dog thief was beaten to death in Dong Nai Province's Bien Hoa Town on May 30

The Bac Ninh People's Court has issued a death sentence against a 34-year-old thief who fatally shot an official from the provincial administration who caught him stealing his dog.

Nguyen Van Hien was prosecuted for killing Nguyen Trung Hieu, an official from the Bac Ninh People's Committee office last October 23.

The court sentenced Hien to death for murder. 


Hien's accomplice, 28-year-old Nguyen Duc Bien, was sentenced to 12 years for robbery.


According to the Bac Ninh Prosecutors' Office, Hien and Bien were carrying an electrocution gun, a dog snare, a knife, a pistol and three bullets when they went out to steal dogs in Bac Ninh Town on October 23 last year.


At around 6 a.m. they cut a rope to steal Hieu's dog, which was tied to a tree near his house.

Hieu chased and attacked them with a club before Hien shot him. Doctors said that he died an hour later



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).

The thieves then sold the dog to Nguyen Thi Dung who was sentenced to a year in jail for consuming stolen property.

Hien asked Nguyen Van Quang to keep his gun and equipment and phoned his brother Nguyen The Anh saying he shot down a dog owner. As a result, Quang was sentenced to two years for concealing criminals and Anh received one year imprisonment for not denouncing criminals.

The two thieves then swapped their bike's license plate with a fake one and fled.

Bien turned himself in to the police last October 27 and Hien was arrested four days later.

In another incident involving dog theft, 20-year-old Do Duc Hieu was beaten to death by an angry mob  in Dong Nai Province on May 30 because they suspected him of being a dog thief.

Witnesses said locals in Tam Phuoc Commune in the province's Bien Hoa Town saw Hieu and another man attempting to steal dogs.

They caught Hieu and beat him seriously while the other man fled.

Hieu was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to multiple injures.

Police are investigating the case.

Dog thefts are common in Vietnam and the canine is mostly sold for food.

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