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Underage thief turns to Shenzhen NGO after one year run
Latest Updated by 2007-03-14 16:10:40

AN underage thief who has been on the run for the past year turned himself in to a Nanshan police station after receiving a month's help by a Shenzhen-based non-governmental organization, local Chinese-language media reported yesterday (Mar 13).

The minor, 17, identified only by his surname Jiang, fled to Guangzhou from Chongqing after his four accomplices were caught by police in the southwestern city.

Jiang hid in Guangzhou with a false identity card he bought and took a part-time job. He managed to evade the police but suffered unease and mental torture, according to yesterday's Daily Sunshine report, citing Jiang.

"I had no friends at all, and I dared not contact my family in Chongqing. My life was all about hiding, hiding my real name and hiding my past," he said.

Earlier this year, Jiang learned about the Yangguangxia, a non-profit organization in Shenzhen that aims to help those released from prison reintegrate into society.

On Feb. 14, Jiang logged onto the organization's Web site, leaving an online message to Wang Jinyun, the organization's founder, telling him he was a thief being looked for by police. Jiang said he wasn't sure what would happen after he disclosed his identity to Wang. But he soon received a message back saying Wang was willing to listen to his problems.

After four e-mails and four phone conversations, Jiang came to Shenzhen and met Wang, who suggested he to turn himself in to police.

"He is young, and from an unfortunate family. I know he isn't a bad person after meeting him. He has sent 2,000 yuan (US$) from his meager earnings back to Chongqing to support his family over the past year," said Wang.

Wang took Jiang to a couple of psychological consultation sessions and hired a lawyer to give Jiang legal assistance.

Jiang agreed to go to see the police Sunday. "I am an accountable and responsible person. I must face my past and take the responsibility for my wrongdoings. I will start a new life after serving my penalty," said Jiang.

Jiang walked into the Nanshan police station, accompanied by Wang. He was transferred back to Chongqing police authorities Monday.

Wang said he will keep in touch with Jiang, and contact some factories to provide him with vocational training after he is released.

Wang, from Hubei Province, came to Shenzhen in 1998 after college. He set up the non-profit organization Yangguangxia, the first of its kind in China, in September 2003 with all his savings and launched a hotline in December to help criminals and their families. The Yangguangxia Fund was set up Oct. 17, 2005 in Nanshan District, in collaboration with Nanshan legal authorities. China's first free hotline helping ex-inmates with reemployment was officially launched under the fund April 13, 2006.

Editor: Wing

By: Source:Szdaily web edition
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