Sun, Sep 24, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Gritty granny subdues brazen female burglar

By Lo Cheng-ming  /  STAFF REPORTER

A burglar got more than she bargained for when she tried to rob an elderly woman whose years of farm work gave her the wiry strength to put the would-be thief in a headlock.

On Tuesday, Lee Hsu-pao (李許寶), a 77-year-old grandmother from Hsinwu Township (新屋), Taoyuan County, was tilling her land when she noticed that the back door of her house had been opened.

Sensing that something fishy was going on, Lee rushed back and found a 32-year-old woman surnamed Yang (楊) breaking into her house and stealing money in broad daylight.

Although faced with a housebreaker much more robust and taller than her -- Lee stands a mere 150cm tall and only weighs 50kg -- she gave a shout and managed to grab Yang by the collar and put her in a headlock so that she could not escape.

Lee's neighbors heard the shout and called the police who came and apprehended the suspect.

Hsu Lee Yu-kuei (許李玉桂), Hsinwu Township village chief, said that there had been a lot of house break-ins in the neighborhood recently.

"Some female thieves pretend that they are lost and ask locals for directions before breaking into their houses," Hsu said.

When asked how she had caught the suspect, Lee said the woman, Yang, had asked her for directions and used the opportunity to case the surroundings of Lee's house.

"I just yelled at the top of my lungs, took on the housebreaker, grabbed her and put her in a headlock," Lee said.

Aware that she was unable to escape, the pilferer attempted to talk Yang into releasing her, maintaining that she was not stealing Lee's money. Police eventually arrived and arrested her.

Despite her advanced years, Lee said she had enough strength to tackle the intruder because she grew up working on a farm and carrying heavy hoes.

"I was able to catch the thief because of the physical strength I have developed working on the farm since I was young," Lee said proudly.

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