A motorbike of two dog thief suspects was heavily burned by a mob in the central province of Thanh Hoa on March 11. Photo credit: Dan Tri
Police are investigating the beating of two suspected dog thieves by people of a hamlet in central Vietnam.
Police of Thanh Hoa Province had to intervene to stop the beating by the local residents, who were outraged after being targeted repeatedly by dog thieves, and rush the two suspects to hospital on Wednesday night.
Hoang Trong Manh, 23, and Luong Sy Cuong, 26, allegedly tasered a dog of a local family in Hop Luc Hamlet and stole it that night, according to news website Dan Tri.
When they were detected by hamlet chief Nguyen Dinh Dong, one of the men allegedly hit Dong in his head with a glass bottle and tried to run away.
However, they were soon surrounded by many local people who severely beat them and burned down their motorbike, according to the Dan Tri report.
Police said the neighborhood has been continuously targeted by dog thieves recently, which has fueled local people’s rage.
Dog theft is rampant in Vietnam, where many people view the animals’ meat as good, if not healthful, food.
Under Vietnamese laws, dog thieves only face criminal charge when the stolen dogs are valued at VND2 million (around US$100) or above – the threshold for criminal charges.
That has given rise to mob justice, as communities, who are offended by the fact thieves are given no criminal punishments other than cash fines, decided to take the matter into their own hands.
Many dog thieves were beaten, sometimes burned, to death by angry mobs. But in some cases, attackers suffered casualties when armed thieves fought back.