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Blonde kidnap gang target Sao Paulo shopping malls

The young, educated, middle-class women have been kidnapping and robbing customers leaving Sao Paulo's shopping malls.

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These six women are suspected of being behind some of the 50 express kidnappings that have taken place near malls in Sao Paolo, Brazil since 2009. (Courtesy/Screengrab)

Brazilian police are looking for a gang of beautiful, young women suspected of being behind a series of kidnappings and robberies in shopping malls around Sao Paulo.

United Press International says that in three years the gang has targeted at least 50 people, mostly wealthy women, in so-called express kidnappings.

Police have reportedly begun to break up the gang, with three suspects arrested over the weekend, including one man thought to have co-ordinated the operations.

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AFP describes how members of the gang follow women leaving shopping malls, rob them and then uses their credit cards to buy expensive, luxury items.

"In one case, they bought 17,500 reales (US$9,700) worth of items with the cards, and took out more than 3,000 reales (US$1,660)" in cash, police officer Alberto Pereira is said to have told reporters.

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Police have described the gang as consisting of "young, educated, middle-class women," according to the BBC.

The Sao Paulo civil police anti-kidnap division chief Joaquim Dias Alves is quoted as saying: "One or two speak more than one language, and some have been educated overseas.  They are really pretty girls, well-dressed and made up."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/120325/blonde-and-beautiful-kidnap-gang-target-sao-paolo-shopp