BEIJING, March 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police have broken up 101 gangs and arrested 352 suspects for manufacturing auto lock decoders that they used to steal cars and properties through a network spanning multiple regions.
According to a statement released Tuesday by the Ministry of Public Security, police from 21 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities jointly broke up the network earlier this month, confiscating 51 stolen cars and illicit money and property valued at more than 12 million yuan (1.9 million U.S. dollars).
The case dated back to July last year, when police in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region found that the auto lock decoders used by a suspect in a car theft case were purchased from neighboring Guangdong Province, and some decoders had been leased to others for car theft.
Months of investigations revealed an auto lock decoder manufacturing group using an electronic company as a business front. Their products were sold nationwide online.
The ministry has vowed to continue an iron-fisted crackdown on such crimes, while reminding people not to leave valuable items in their cars.