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Thieves target Metro phones

THIEVES are snatching high-end mobile phones from the hands of Metro passengers and escaping through closing doors, police warned yesterday.

Shanghai Metro police advised subway riders to take care of their mobile phones - particularly popular brands such as iPhone - as this crime is on the increase.

Officers said the thieves target passengers holding a phone, snatch the phone as the carriage doors are about to shut and squeeze through the closing door, leaving the stunned victim on the train.

"Victims can't react because it all happens so quickly," said Song Youguo, a Metro police officer.

Passengers are also vulnerable to thieves at Metro stations at night, according to Song.

Subway police have apprehended 232 thieves so far this year and recovered stolen items worth more than 210,000 yuan (US$33,082).

Meanwhile, Metro police said they have seized more than 30,000 dangerous items, including gas cylinders, knifes, replica guns and spent bullets, this year at 528 checkpoints on 11 Metro lines.

Eight people were detained for taking hazardous goods into stations, officers said.

The city's 11 Metro lines handle 6 million riders each day on average and one in six passengers are subject to random checks, police said.


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