Xinhua News Agency

Married couple 'posed as journalists to steal'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 June, 2001, 12:00am

Beijing police have arrested a couple for allegedly posing as journalists to carry out thefts, Xinhua reported yesterday.

Yang Guang and his wife, Gao Chunyin, were arrested by police from Beijing's Sicheng District late last month after they received a tip-off that a couple were trying to sell two laptop computers outside a shop. The report said the pair aroused suspicion because they were selling the computers too cheaply.

After initial investigations, police said Yang and Gao had stolen property and cash worth more than 500,000 yuan (HK$470,000) in four years by posing as journalists.

Quoting police sources, Xinhua said Yang and Gao posed as journalists of Chinese news organisations and attended numerous activities in about 20 high-class hotels, exhibition halls and convention centres.

Instead of gathering news, they picked pockets in the meetings, stole expensive equipment left unattended and even took gifts prepared by organisers for the real journalists.

According to alleged confessions made by the couple, their haul included two laptop computers, 22 mobile phones, seven cameras, one leather jacket, three suits and a large quantity of cash in yuan and foreign currency.

Police have already recovered some of the cash from the couple's bank account. They sealed an apartment owned by the couple in Changping District for investigation.

Xinhua said Yang and Gao were unemployed. Before they moved to Beijing, they were farmers in Hubei province. The report did not say if Yang and Gao had forged their press credentials.