Chinese man gets 19 years for toy-gun stick-up

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BEIJING, Sep 12 (Reuters) A court in southern China has jailed a 21-year-old man who used a toy gun to steal a backpack containing 218,000 dollars for 19 years, Xinhua news agency said today.

Xie Wei held the toy gun to a man's head in a bank carpark in Guangzhou, capital of coastal Guangdong province, and fled with the victim's backpack, the agency said.

Police later caught Xie in possession of 214,000 dollars, the man's mobile phone, a laptop, and a pair of diamond rings bought with some of the stolen money, Xinhua said, citing the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court.

The court also heard that Xie had stolen a diamond ring and a platinum necklace worth 129,550 yuan from a shop in Guangzhou last year.

Xie had been ''treated with leniency'' because he had confessed, most of the money had been recovered and his family had offered compensation to the victims, Xinhua quoted the court as saying.

In January, a court in the same city jailed a man for four years for robbing two 12-year-old boys of 0.5 yuan, or the equivalent of seven US cents.

REUTERS SG NDD1428

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