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Suspects ‘targeted exhibitions for thefts’

EIGHT suspects from three gangs eyeing pickings at this year’s Shanghai Auto Show were arrested before the show opened, police said yesterday.

Four of them had allegedly stolen at least 300,000 yuan (US$44,000) worth of objects from various exhibition centers in Shanghai this year.

Shanghai New International Expo Center in Pudong, had reported thefts to police since the beginning of this year, and most of the thefts took place during the moving in and moving out stages of the exhibitions.

Using surveillance cameras within the venue, police spotted four suspects, wearing helmets and masks and dressed as workers, who were stealing computers, mobile phones and other valuables from the exhibitors’ offices and from the exhibition hall.

The four were considered to be involved in at least 14 theft cases, some of which occurred at the National Exhibition and Convention Center in western Shanghai’s Qingpu District where the auto show is being held.

Police observed them as they traveled to Shanghai again on April 10, suspecting them to be casing the show.

Two of them were arrested the following day in Kunshan city, Jiangsu Province, where they fled after stealing at the venue. The other two were caught later that day before trying to leave Shanghai at Hongqiao Railway Station.

Police said they found the suspects had a timetable of exhibitions in first-tier cities including Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou. Investigation is continuing.

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