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Nguyen Chi Bao, 18, and Le Hoang Nu, 25, both coming from the city, received the sentences during their trial opened by the municipal People’s Court on Thursday on charges of “property robbery by snatching” pursuant to Article 136 of the Penal Code.
The victim was Holly Kathlee Bramble, a 32-year-old woman of American nationality.
On the evening of December 21, 2104, Nu and Bao was traveling on a motorbike to look for “prey” on Huynh Thuc Khanh Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, when they saw Bramble walking with a handbag on her shoulder.
Nu then stopped the bike for Bao to rush to the foreign woman and snatched the bag from her.
Witnessing the snatchers running away from the scene amidst the cries for help from the victim, some police officers gave them a chase.
After a short distance, Bao was captured while Nu managed to escape on foot.
Police officers recovered the bag from Bao and returned it to the victim.
The bag contained an iPhone 4S, VND2.5 million (US$112) in cash, and some papers, police said.
Three days later, Nu was arrested.
A number of similar trials have taken place in the city in recent years.
On November 4, 2014, the same court sentenced two young men to three years in jail each for snatching a cellphone from a foreign tourist.
Ngo Van Thanh, 23, and Tran Hoai Thuong, 22, both from the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang, were arrested on April 7 last year in a case in which city police had to fire five shots to arrest them.
The victim was Aungkana Apinyarat, a 39-year-old Thai woman.