A suspect with an AK gun and “wearing a police uniform” robbing two gold shops in Dong Ba market has been arrested, Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported.
The incident happened around the early afternoon of July 31 in the presence of many people at the largest market in Hue City.
A witness who worked next to a robbed gold shop told the BBC that he heard several gunshots believed to have been fired by the suspect as he ran out of the store.
“This person threw the stolen gold into a tree-lined median and ran away. Some gold jewelry was stuck on a phoenix tree when the suspect threw it,” this person said.
Colonel Dang Ngoc Son, Deputy Director of Thua Thien – Hue provincial Police Department, was quoted by the Zing news site as saying that after committing the robbery of a gold shop, the suspect ran towards Gia Hoi bridge with a gun.
“The suspect wanted to commit suicide but then wanted to meet me personally. After a while, I met the suspect, explained the incident and the suspect put down his weapon and was escorted to the office by the police,” Colonel Son said.
“According to leaders of Thua Thien-Hue province Police, the suspect used an AK gun when robbing property,” Zing news reported.
Vietnam’s state-controlled media reported that the suspect was arrested at about 14:00.
At least two newspapers, Vnxpress and Thanh Nien showed pictures of the suspect wearing a police uniform and carrying an AK gun at the place of the robbery.
Meanwhile, Zing newspaper published a picture that it described as when the suspect was arrested, he was wearing blue shorts and a white t-shirt and hat.
A local reporter said that the possibility that the suspect was asked to change clothes when escorted away for sensitive reasons affected the “image of the police.”
Vnxpress newspaper on the afternoon of July 31 described the suspect as “Ngo Van Quoc, 38 years old, holding the rank of captain, working at Binh Dien Prison camp in Binh Tien commune, Huong Tra town.”
The newspaper then revised the bulletin, removing the details “with the rank of captain, working at Binh Dien Prison camp” and only kept information about the suspect’s name and age.
Tuoi Tre newspaper said that “at first, the police identified the suspect as Ngo Van Quoc, 38 years old, residing in Huong Thuy town, Thua Thien Hue.”
“According to many witnesses, the suspect wore a police uniform, wore the rank of captain, and fired several shots at the Hoang Duc gold shop in the market,” Tuoi Tre newsletter said.
A video clip of a witness sent to the BBC shows that some passersby saw the gold thrown by the suspect on the street and raced to pick it up.
Another witness told us that some people picked up the gold and brought it back to the gold shop, but some took it away.
On the evening of July 31, Hue City police issued a notice asking people to return the gold they picked up in the case of robbing a gold shop at Dong Ba market, media reported.
According to the Hue City Police, asking people to return property is to serve the investigation process and return the property to the owner. If they do not return it, they will be handled according to the provisions of the law on the crime of “Illegal possession of the property,” Phap Luat newspaper reported.