Treaty of Nanking

Manhunt as armed robber flees with $94,000

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 27 August, 2002, 12:00am

Shanghai has launched a city-wide hunt for a man suspected of robbing a post office at knifepoint and fleeing with 100,000 yuan (HK$94,000).

Posters have appeared around the city of a man wearing a white Chicago Bulls T-shirt bearing a picture of basketball star Michael Jordan.

The man is said to have jumped over the counter and forced workers to hand over the money at knifepoint earlier this month.

The posters say police are offering a 50,000 yuan reward.

'Police are looking for this suspect,' read one poster pasted to a wall in a crowded pedestrian mall. 'We hope the broad masses will help inform on him and provide clues.'

Armed robberies are infrequent in Shanghai and street crime is relatively low for a city of 16 million people.

Officials may be nervous in the run-up to November's 16th Communist Party Congress, where key jobs will be up for grabs and future policies will be determined.

The last armed robbery at a Shanghai bank was in November 1987 at a branch of the Industrial and Commercial Bank. One person was killed. And in 1996, robbers blew open a credit co-operative with explosives.

The latest robbery took place at a postal office in the Yangpu district near the murky Huangpu River. The two women and one man on duty did not put up a fight, and there were no injuries.

'It was lunchtime and there was no noise,' said a man who works nearby. 'The first we knew of this was when the police arrived.'

A sign on the door of the locked post office read: 'Closed for renovations.'

A police hotline has been set up for information from the public, but police declined to discuss the case.

The suspect is believed to be between 25 and 35 years old, about 1.8 metres tall and speaks the Shanghai dialect.