Petty thief gets four years in jail 21 years later

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A 39-year-old man has been arrested and tried for robbing his friend's watch and gold ring almost 21 years ago.


The Thu Duc District People's Court sentenced Tran Ngoc Loan to four years in jail after he admitted that he had arranged to rob his friend Phan Ngoc Anh Dung, after seeing the latter wear a Seiko watch and a gold ring.


On the evening of August 29 in 1990, Loan asked Dung to go biking and took him to an empty road where two accomplices, Sau and Kiet, were waiting.


Sau and Kiet threatened Dung with a knife and robbed him of his watch and ring (about 0.24 ounce) and VND18,000 (then US$2.4).


After Dung reported the robbery to the police, Loan became afraid he would be investigated. He took the watch and ring from Sau and Kiet and asked his brother-in-law to return it to Dung.


Loan then fled to Cambodia, where he got married and maintained a normal life.


He was only arrested on March 7, after coming to the Phuoc Long A police station in District 9 for some personal identity paper approval.


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