Eight Vietnamese have been arrested in Singapore on suspicion of stealing personal belongings at shopping areas, the island city-state's newspaper Strait Times reported Tuesday.
The three men and five women aged between 17 and 47 are believed to have stolen mobile phones, wallets and handbags in around 20 cases since July. The incidents took place in Chinatown, Bugis, Marine Parade, Raffles Boulevard and Orchard Road, according to theft reports received by the police.
Most of the items were stolen when they were left unattended.
In one of the reports received by the police on August 20, staff at a retail outlet at Waterloo Street had discovered their mobile phones and a wallet missing after they had attended to customers.
The last suspect, a 45-year-old Vietnamese man, was arrested at Changi Airport Monday evening as he was about to leave the country. He was found with 17 smart phones, three music players, three wallets and about S$2,200 in cash.
Police estimated that all the items stolen would be valued more than $15,000 in total. The suspects are going to stand in trial this week and if found guilty, each faces up to seven years' jail and fine, the report said.