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MOSCOW, March 20 (Itar-Tass) — Detectives detained two purse stealers in southwestern Moscow on Tuesday morning. The criminals offered resistance to the police officers, a city law-enforcement official told Itar-Tass.
Police reported an increasing incidence of attacks by purse stealers, who mostly operate as members of gangs comprising natives of the Caucasus region. "Twenty to twenty-five attacks on car owners occur in the city every day, on the average. As a rule, all the robberies are committed near financial institutions, supermarkets, large offices or petrol stations," the official said.
Drivers are also robbed on roads, when criminals watch their victims and attack them at crossroads or in traffic jams.
The Moscow criminal investigation department set up a special unit to combat purse stealers.
"On Tuesday morning, detectives noted two suspects in a foreign car near a Savings Bank office in Vavilov Street. The suspected robbers were detained by force, as they offered resistance. Police will question the detainees to ascertain their possible involvement in thefts of citizens' property from cars," the police official said.