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Robbers make off with US$30,000
16/9/2004 7:38

Shanghai Daily News

Local police are searching for three men who allegedly robbed a man of cash and valuables worth about 250,000 yuan (US$30,120) in Jiading District yesterday morning.

All the three suspects were dressed in black and are about 20 years old, according to authorities.

The victim surnamed Qin alleged it was an armed robbery as the suspects carried a rifle and a pistol.

Police said they are not sure if the guns were genuine or fake.

Qin, a Jiangsu Province man, illegally runs a gambling house in the city, officers said.

The incident occurred around 1am yesterday when Qin returned to his first-floor apartment in Zijin residential area, Jiading District.

"In fact, the three suspects had hidden themselves behind the stairs by then, waiting for the victim," said a police officer who asked not to be identified.

The suspected robbers went into action when Qin's wife opened the burglar-proof steel door and Qin tried to enter the room.

"They pointed the guns at my head, snatched my suitcase and fled the scene," Qin said.

He claimed the bag contained many currencies including US dollars, Japanese yen and Hong Kong dollars.

A resident living on the fourth floor was the first to respond to the emergency.

"A stomachache kept me awake at that time so I immediately dashed down the stairs when I heard shouts for help," said the witness named Song Jie.

"I saw two of them, guns in hands, running out of the building," he said.

Qin's wife called police and dozens of officers arrived at the scene.

"They asked me questions and interviewed other residents," Song said.

Neighbors said they were not familiar with the victim, but it was known to all that Qin did not have a decent job and lived on gambling.

"The case must have been related to his illegal activities since it was directly aimed at him," said a 30-year-old resident who lives in the building in front of Qin's.

"By the time I went to work this morning, our residential area had returned to normal," he added.