Ho Chi Minh City robbers have new tricks up their sleeves, according to several Thanh Nien readers.
They stage motorbike collisions, jealousy attacks and rob dazed and confused victims before they realize what is happening.
A number of city dwellers told Thanh Nien News they had fallen prey to the new tricks, which claimed them a lot of money.
A woman named N.T.H of District 3 said she had been pickpocketed and robbed more than 10 times. In three incidents she realized the robbers had set up motorbike crashes to commit their crimes.
In the latest incident, on July 28, her daughter was riding a motorbike with her on the back seat on Dinh Bo Linh Street when two men on a motorbike crashed into the women's vehicle from behind.
At the same time, a group of men jumped off another motorbike in front of the "accident."
The men screamed and yelled at H. and her daughter, asking why she did not mind her driving.
When H. and her daughter were still unable to figure out what happened, some men pickpocketed H. and grabbed her iPhone.
They quickly jumped into their bikes and fled the scene, right before her astonished eyes.
When H. shouted for help, other passers-by did not do anything. They just looked, she recalled.
H. said she was once "lucky" when a group of robbers who set up a similar crash on District 1's Ton That Tung-Bui Thi Xuan intersection tried to grab her bag but she managed to keep it tight and they left.
Another resident named L.D.M, who owned a gold shop in District 3, also lost US$10,000 in a crash-and-rob case last month.
M. was riding a motorbike on Nguyen Thien Thuat Street in District 3 at noon when two men on a motorbike passed him and stopped in front of his bike, forcing him to stop.
Two other men on another motorbike then suddenly crashed into his bike from behind.
When M. automatically turned around to see what happened, the four men approached him closely, and picked a bundle of cash worth $10,000 from the right pocket of his pants.
"It happened so quickly that I could hardly react," M. recalled.
He then shouted for help and chased after the men. No passers-by bothered to help him.
Some city dwellers who had encountered such incidents said the best way to keep your money is to throw your bikes on the ground and stay away from the strangers who try to surround you.
N.T.V of District 1 said that after he jumped out of a circle of robbers that had surrounded him, he shouted for help and they left.
Some women said they were attacked by strangers who screamed out loud that they had "seduced" their husbands to humiliate them before the eyes of passers-by and took advantage of their confusion to rob their bikes.
L.T.T, 38, of District 12 said she was riding her motorbike on Hoang Van Thu Street in Tan Binh District early May when two women, who were wearing facial masks, on a motorbike went ahead of her bike.
A woman asked out loud: "Are you Thu, bitch?'
When T. was still confused, the women pulled her over to the sidewalks and started beating her.
The women yelled at T while they beat her. They screamed that they beat her because she seduced their husbands.
T. was so frightened that she left her bike and tried to run. That's when two men appeared on a motorbike, and one jumped on her bike and drove it away.
A police officer who wished to remain anonymous recommended that people not bring a lot of cash or valuable property with them while driving motorbike.
In case of a crash, people should pay attention to their money rather than quarreling with the strangers who caused the crash.
According to the HCMC Police Department, robbers in such cases are professional. Their crimes are harder to detect than obvious robberies, thus it is harder for police to catch them.
The city police have established operations to bust such robbery gangs, and some gangs with dozens of members have been nabbed.
Police in some districts have erected warning signs at some intersections or streets where crash-and-rob incidents have occurred.