Fifteen Beijing highschoolers were detained by police on Monday for their involvement in a series of recent muggings in Sanlitun's popular bar area, South China Morning Post reports.
The teens – who are aged between 13 and 17 and all attend a local middle school – began carrying out the muggings in December. Operating in small groups and donning masks, the gang would set out late at night in Sanlitun’s bar district. They would reportedly approach defenseless-looking victims, threaten them with knives or electric batons and demand money. The teens would rob victims of cash, force them to take money out of ATMs and demand electronic transfers.
According to one of the teens, the group would spend the stolen money in the area’s bars and clubs.
The number of Beijingers who were mugged by the teenage gang members is still unknown. However, one of the victims recently detailed their experience with the Beijing Morning Post.
"I was just walking along when two teenagers ran into me and asked me for money because they said they were hurt," Jin told the Beijing Morning Post. "I wanted to ignore them but they suddenly took out a knife and told me to ‘behave' — I was too frightened to fight back."
The group not only took money from Jin’s electronic wallet, but they also forced Jin to go to a nearby ATM to withdraw cash. In the end, the teens took roughly RMB2,100 (USD300).
Beijing police found the 15 highschool kids by studying surveillance footage. Officers recognized one of the gang members from the tapes and that person ultimately gave up the names of other members of the group.
[Image via Handout]