Vietnam metro's videotaped bag-snatchers receive prison terms

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Le Minh Pha (L) and Diep Tan Dung, both 20, were handed down jail terms by a HCMC court on Tuesday. Photo: Lao Dong newspaper

A court in Ho Chi Minh City has handed down jail terms of over eight years in total to the two young men who were caught on video snatching a bag from a young woman last September.

The Binh Thanh District People's Court sentenced Diep Tan Dung and Le Minh Pha, both 20, to four and a half and four years in prison respectively for robbery on Tuesday.

According to the indictment, in the afternoon of September 25 Pha was driving Dung on a motorbike in Thu Duc District's Hanoi Highway when they saw and followed Quan Thi Kim Yen, who was wearing a bag diagonally across her chest.

When they reached a deserted section of Nguyen Huu Canh Street near the Saigon Bridge, Pha sped up and approached Yen as Dung snatched the woman's bag, which at the time contained two phones worth a total of VND11.8 million (US$563).  

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Yen held her bag tight, staggered and fell off her bike onto the street.

The two robbers fled, failing to take anything from her.

The robbery was inadvertently captured by the camera of a car behind them. The man driving the car posted the clip online, where it drew the attention of the public, prompting local police to investigate and arrest Dung and Pha last November.

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