A pair of Vietnamese culprits, both of whom came to Taiwan on tourist visas, were recently arrested during a secretive operation by Kaohsiung police for stealing from shoppers in crowded spots, and 73 pilfered mobile phones were allegedly recovered from the duo.

Faced with increasing reports of lost mobile phones filed to the Qianzhen Police Precinct in Kaohsiung, police launched an  investigation by reviewing closed-circuit-television footage from popular department stores, hypermarkets and night markets in the area, China Daily News reported.

Video of a foreign man and woman was captured on several occasions that matched the times and places that a number of phones had gone  missing.

CCTV videos showed a woman eyeing backpackers and moving closer to those who were paying little attention to their property. She would often push the victim softly, taking the mobile phone and handing it over to her male partner, who then fled with it.

The police went through the city’s list of runaway migrant workers, but could not identify the suspects.

Later, by conducting secretive operations at a crowded department store, a 27-year-old man and a 46-year-old woman, both Vietnamese nationals, were caught red-handed, and two stolen devices were immediately seized along with the arrest.