One dog thief killed, another injured in Vietnam mob attack

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A local mob burned a man to death in Nghe An Province's Vinh Town in 2010, allegedly because he stole a dog.

Hai Duong police are searching for local residents accused of killing one man and severely injuring another in a brutal mob attack allegedly in retribution for a dog theft in the northern province.

Residents of Tai Son Commune told Tu Ky District Police that they found two men who had been beaten unconscious on the side of the road Sunday, VTC news website quoted a district police source as saying.

Their motorbike had been burned next to a dog snare, it said.

Police said 43-year-old Nguyen Van Tuyen, had died and Dao Viet Ha, 45, who sustained serious injuries, was admitted to a local hospital.

Investigators said Tuyen and Ha, both Hai Duong Town residents, had come to Tai Son Commune to steal dog.

However, they were detected by residents who then attacked them.

Tuyen's father, Nguyen Van Tot, said he was surprised that his son was stealing dog.

He said Tuyen, a father of two, was poor. He rented a house in town and worked as a day laborer, Tot said.

In a similar case on May 24, residents of Binh Dinh Province's Phu My District attacked a dog thief and burned his motorbike.

The thief, Thai Quoc Cuong, confessed he and another man had come to Phu My's My Hiep Commune to steal dogs.

However, local residents chased after them before they could steal a dog. The duo threw chilly powder at those who gave chase.

Cuong was arrested later but the other man managed to flee.

Police took Cuong to Phu My Hospital for treatment of serious injuries sustained in the attack by the furious residents.

Phu My District Police are investigating the case.

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 vent their rage on the thieves instead of handing them to the police.

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

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