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Police warn of Spring Festival robbery peak

By Li Ying (Global Times)

09:31, January 12, 2012

Residents in Beijing should be alert to an increase in robberies before the Spring Festival, warned police officers and experts in public security on Wednesday.

The number of robberies before the Spring Festival often increases as criminals take advantage of a period when more money is circulating, an anonymous police officer from the Fengtai District Public Security Bureau said yesterday.

Meanwhile, criminals from outside Beijing hope to steal more money before they go back to their hometowns.

Yang Ruoyu was robbed just after withdrawing cash at an ATM point in Shuangqiao, Tongzhou district last Tuesday by two men who stole his wallet and 2,000 yuan ($317) in cash.

"After watching the video shot by the surveillance camera, the police told me the two men were probably migrant workers from a nearby construction site," Yang said.

Wang Dawei, a professor at the Chinese People's Public Security University, yesterday advised citizens to stay alert at ATM points and areas outside banks.

"Do not withdraw money when someone is repairing the ATM; don't go into small ATM kiosks in the evening and don't count your money outside the bank. Pay attention to people hanging around for no reason," he said.

Women who are often outside alone in the evening should also be alert, he noted.

Recently a thief stole 400 yuan from a woman who was walking alone at 3:00 am in Anzhen, Chaoyang district, by grabbing her face from behind and knocking her to the ground, the Beijing Morning Post reported yesterday.

"Women who work night shifts should raise their awareness of self-protection," the police officer from Fengtai said, "such as avoiding dark roads, and keep alert when meeting strangers outside your home."

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