Failed dog theft attempt escalates to double murder in central Vietnam

Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Van Tien, 23, arrested for allegedly stabbing two people to death and injuring two others in Gia Lai Province on January 21. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese police have arrested a 23-year-old man suspected of killing two people and injuring two others last week, apparently during his attempt to steal their dog. 
Nguyen Van Tien, who briefly served in the military, was arrested on Friday, about 42 hours after the murders in the Central Highlands. 
Tien confessed that he had not planned the theft in advance, but the idea came to him when he was passing Cuong’s house that night and hearing his dog barking, news website VnExpress reported. 
He allegedly broke into the neighbor's backyard, where the dog was being chained, carrying a self-made electroshock device. 
As the dog barked, Cuong, 56, came out of the house and saw Tien.
He then forced the invader to follow him into the house, where he questioned him, according to police.
When they were inside, Tien stabbed Cuong several times with a knife he was carrying with him in order to escape. 
Cuong’s family, who were awakened by the noises, rushed to rescue him. 
During the fight, Tien allgedly killed Cuong and his 18-year-old daughter, while his wife and mother were injured. 
Thieu Quang Nam, a local police officer, told VnExpress that Tien was discharged from the military more than one year ago, and later moved to work in Ho Chi Minh City. 
The investigation continues. 
Dog theft in Vietnam has been fueled by those who view the animals as a delicacy.
Restaurants pay between VND100,000 and VND200,000 (US$4.8-$9.6) per dog.
Dog thieves only face criminal charge if the stolen dogs are valued at VND2 million (around $100) or above – the threshold for criminal charges in Vietnam.
The idea that thieves only suffer an administrative fine inspires communities to take matters into their own hands.
Angry mobs have brutally assaulted dog thieves throughout Vietnam in acts of vigilante justice.
But the armed thieves have also fought back.

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