Sanlitun embassy guards tackle armed handbag thief

By Wei Na Source:Global Times Published: 2012-7-11 0:20:08

Soldiers captured a handbag thief who was armed with a knife in the Sanlitun diplomatic area, police said Tuesday. 

On July 2, Li Wensheng, a guard on duty outside the Tanzanian embassy, Liangmahe Nanlu, saw a man running past carrying a white handbag and with a knife sticking out of his pocket at around 10 pm. A foreign woman, later found to be Russian, was chasing the man.

Li used his radio to alert guards at the Ukrainian embassy, Sanlitun Dongliujie, to tackle the suspect, according to the press release from Beijing Armed Police.

"It only took about 37 seconds for the three guards to overpower the robber, named Liu Tianqiao. [They] got his knife and he was held on the ground," said Zheng Guang'ao, a media officer from Beijing Armed Police Tuesday.

"The bag was returned to the Russian businesswoman at the time, and she wasn't injured at all," said Zheng.

Sanlitun police arrested Liu, who is from Jilin Province, said Zheng. 

There have been a number of reports on expat websites recently warning foreigners to increase their vigilance in the Sanlitun area, after the US embassy issued a notice in June warning American citizens to watch out at night, following allegations that  an embassy employee was assaulted in a nearby nightclub. 

Neither Sanlitun police nor Beijing public security bureau would comment on the alleged theft.

"There are occasional crimes in the Sanlitun embassy area, such as robberies, but we don't have detailed statistics to offer and try to make it low key," said Zheng.

Posted in: Society, Metro Beijing

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