Ho Chi Minh City police announced Sunday they had arrested six alleged members of a gang that used tear gas and other weapons to attack motorists and steal their motorbikes.
The alleged gang leader Nguyen Thuy Hoang, 24, and five gang members -- Co Khuong Duy, 24, Chung Thanh Toan, 18, Le Nguyen Minh Hai, 27, Nguyen Hoang Hieu, 24, and Nguyen Quang Thai, 23 -- were arrested between October 8 and 10 after a two-month operation by police in District 7.
The operation was carried out after District 7 police received reports from local residents of several violent motorbike robberies in August.
The culprits reportedly pulled up to inspect motorists while driving at night and sprayed tear gas in their faces.
They would then threaten their victims with knives and other weapons before taking their bikes, mobile phones, wallets and any other valuables they could find.
Hoang, who is from HCMC, told police he had previously been sentenced to four and a half years in jail for robbery. After serving his full term, he returned home and established the motorbike robbery gang, he said.
The gang performed 28 successful robberies, most of which were in District 7, he said.
The stolen motorbikes were pawned or sold.
Hoang and his crew spent the money on booze and "debauchery," according to police reports.
Police said they have recovered 13 of the stolen motorbikes. They are still searching for other suspected members of the gang.