The Taxi Crime Fighters

(Freezing Point (China Youth Daily))  The General Mobilization of the Taxis.  By Lin Tianhong (林天宏).  December 21, 2006.

[in translation]

On the night of December 9, Cao Mei (a resident of Xiaocaotun village, Nuanchitang town, Huludao city, Liaoning province) left her neighbor's house after playing mahjong.  The night air was chilly and there was not a soul around on this pitch dark road.  It was so quiet that "I can only hear my own footsteps."

Cao Mei was somewhat dispirited.  At the mahjong game, she had lost the equivalent of "several weeks' worth of meal money."  She lowered her head as she walked and thought about how to win the money back.  Then she heard the sound of automotive engines roaring and then a bright ray of light was directed at her body.

Not far from Cai Mei, a fleet of "seven or eight cars" had just stopped.  The yellow lights in front of the cars were flashing.  From afar, on the highway behind this fleet of cars, an uncountable number of car lights were heading towards this direction.  "It was as long as a train.  I could not see the tail end."

Cao Mei was scared.  She hurried home and then bolted the door.  She turned around and looked at the wall clock.  9:25pm.

She did not realize that since around 11am on the morning of December 8, several thousand taxi drivers and citizens had spontaneously joined an action to catch some robbers.  The action had been going on for more than 30 hours already by this time.


At just past 7am on December 8, fifty-year-old Guo Jun had just gotten out of bed.  At that moment, her husband Zhang Lichun and their son Zhang Zhihua were still asleep.  This family depended on driving a taxi for their livelihood.  Guo Jun had the morning shift, the son had the middle shift; at 6pm, Zhang Lichun began the night shift.

At around 7:30pm, Guo Jun opened the door to the light blue Santana car with Liaoning place PB1035.  The weather on this day was not bad.  The rising sun made her feel warm.

Three hours later, on the road to the Qianwa village in the city outskirts, a bone-chilling cold seized this female taxi driver from head to toe.  A sharp awl more than a foot long was pointed against her left chest.  The "seemingly pleasant" young man in the seat next to the driver commanded in a low voice: "You get off the car!"

There was a man and a woman in the rear seats.  They were all young.  The young man with the crew cut opened the car door and dragged Guo Jun out.

"I'll give you the money.  I'll give you the mobile telephone.  Please leave the identification papers for me."  Facing a robber whose age was about the same as her son, Guo Jun was "not very afraid" at first.

"I'm leaving you nothing!"  The young man with the crew cut took everything from her and got into the driver's eat.  The car turned around and left.

Guo Jun gave chase on foot until she reached the road, but the car was long gone.

When Qianwa village resident Cao Jun saw Guo Jun, he was leaning against the his own car.  Cao Jun was not well off.  A month ago, he borrowed 30,000 RMB from friends and relatives and purchased a second-hand Xiali.

"Hey Big Sister, what's happening?"  He went up to meet this woman in a black cotton coat who was looking flustered and waving her hands.

"Did you see a Santana?  That was my car.  I was robbed."

"Oh!  Get on the car quickly!  I'll give chase with you!"

After going on for more than ten miles, the car then reached an intersection with two branches.  The two looked at each other, laughed bitterly and stopped the car.

From Cao Jun's car, Guo Jun called "110" first to report the robbery to the police.  On her next telephone call, she did not call her husband.  Instead, she called the Huludao city Lianshan district radio program "True Feelings Taxi" host Yang Guang.

On the live program between 8:30pm and 10pm each evening, Yang Guang "helped taxi drivers solve problems and answer questions."  According to belief, nine out of ten taxi drivers on the night shift listen to Yang Guang's program.  They refer to this young man "who work so diligently" as "Brother Guang."

More than a year ago, under the leadership of Yang Guang, the Huludao taxi drivers formed a "Yang Guang mutual aid car fleet."  There are now more than 500 vehicles.  The "secret signal" of the fleet is the double-flashing front car lights.

Taxi driver Niu Yongli recalled that when his car broke down on the road before, nobody cared.  But nowadays, whenever a driver has a problem, all he has to do is to keep the double flashes.  It did not matter how remote the location was, some car will stop to offer assistance.  "People are behaving differently than before."

On February 25, a taxi was robbed in Huludao.  After Yang Guang made the suggestion, more than 300 taxis joined in the great hunt.  In five hours' time, the four robbers were arrested.

"We all felt that after that incident, the bad people won't dare to touch taxi drivers," said Niu Yongli.

But ten months later, a similar robbery occurred once more.


Yang Guang was in his office processing documents when he got the call from Guo Jun.  Yang graduated from the Liaoning Jinzhou Teachers School in 1997.  Previously, he had been an insurance salesman.  Early 2005, he was hired as a program host on the Lianshan district radio station.  He has now become "more or less" a celebrity in this city.

After hearing Guo Jun's description, Yang Guang asked his colleague Xin Lan to report this matter on her program.  Then he personally raced downstairs without even getting his coat, got in the Junjie that he bought less than a month ago and sped towards the scene.

"We hope that our colleagues can go search for the criminals even if we make a little less money."  At around 10:40am, a taxi driver made this suggestion on Xin Lan's program.  At the same time, several dozen other taxi drivers heading to the scene also called Yang Guang's mobile telephone immediately.

At around 11am, Yang Guang led almost one hundred taxi using the double flashing lights to meet with Cao Jun.  At that time, one driver offered a clue: a blue Santana heading towards Chaoyang city looked like the hijacked Santana.

Immediately, several hundred taxis got into a long formation and gave chase for almost 200 kilometers.  At around 2pm, the fleet arrived at the Sunjiawan toll station about 10 kilometers from Chaoyang city.

The toll station staff took out the surveillance videotapes.  The hunters were disappointed to learn that there was no record of the hijacked Santana.

The fleet continued searching until 3am on the morning of the 9th.  Finally, the fatigued hunters had to return to the city.

The thread was broken.

At around 8pm on December 9, taxi driver Liu Bing took a passenger to Nuanzhitang town on the outskirts of Huludao city.  On the way back, he found another middle-aged man wanting to go into the city.

"I'm pretty lucky today," said this former soldier who had retired from the military five years ago.

On the way past Xiaocaotun village, Liu Bing saw a Santana taxi cab with the top lights turned off in front of a small store.  A man was talking to the shop owner.  A man with a crew cut was standing next to the car.  There appeared to be someone else inside the car.  As the two cars passed each other, Liu Bin saw in the reflection mirror that the license place number for the other car was Liaoning PB 1035.

"My mother!  Isn't that the car that was hijacked?"  After going on for another 100 meters, Liu Bin suddenly reacted by stepping on the brakes hard.  The passenger on the seat by his side banged his head against the window.

All day during December 9, Yang Guang was "feeling very lousy."  The failure to find the robbers made him feel sorry about the taxi drivers.  At 830pm, he got on his program and he began with an apology to the taxi drivers.

"I heard his voice and it sounded like as if he was crying," recalled one taxi driver.

While Yang Guang was apologizing, the hotline telephone in the studio rang.

In the next moment, all the "True Feeling Taxi" listeners heard Liu Bin's hurried voice, "Brother Guang, I found the hijacked Liaoning PB 1035 in Xiaocaotun village.  But I have a passenger on the car!"

Yang Guang jumped up and almost ripped out the cable to his earphone.  He yelled into the microphone: "Let the passenger off!  Stay with it!  Help will be arriving immediately!  I will be responsible for all your losses tonight!"

He hung up the phone and asked his colleague Xin Lan to stand in as substitute host.  At around 9pm, Yang Guang led the many taxi drivers who had gathered around the radio station office and they headed towards Xiaocaotun village with their double-flashing cars.

More than ten minutes later, Liu Bing called a second time and delivered bad news for the reinforcements: after he let the passenger off and turned around to the store, Liaoning PB1035 had left.  He followed the car lights farther down the road but when he caught up to that car, he found out it was a jeep.

The hijacked Liaoning PB1035 had just vanished into the night right under the eyes of Liu Bing.


At about the same time, many taxi drivers also called the "Traffic Hotline" show hosted by Zhang Cheng from Huludao city and told him about the latest news on the hijacked taxi.

At the time, hotline reporter Yonggang was having a day off and he was repairing a computer at the office.  Zhang Cheng put down the telephone, charged out of the studio and screamed at Yonggang: "Get a car and go to Xiaocaotun village.  Stay in contact with me from the road.  Your mobile telephone will be our mobile hotline!"

After he calmed down, Zhang Cheng made a proposal over "Traffic Hotline" to ask all willing taxi drivers to gather at the city government plaza, the New Fashion Shopping Center and the Number Two High School areas and then proceed to Xiaocaotun village as quickly as possible.

Zhang had been a policeman before for more than five years, and he repeatedly reminded the taxi drivers to be cautious and stay together in a group.

"Zhang Cheng, we have been waiting in the street trying to flag a taxi.  A few dozen taxis went by while doing the double-flashing lights but they all ignored us.  We also want to go catch the criminals.  Can you ask the drivers to pick us up!" a listener called the hotline and described his location.

So this "most pragmatic worker at the city radio station" issued the second proposal of the evening: "All those listeners who want to help catch the criminals, please hold out your fist to flag the taxis.  When the taxi driver friends see people holding out their fists, pick them up.  This will be our secret signal!"

At around 850pm, when Yonggang was about to reach the New Fashion Shopping Center, there were already several dozen taxis and many people holding out their fists in order to get on.

The taxi that Yonggang was in also picked up a young man holding out a fist.  "Brother, let's go quickly.  Don't let those guys get away!"  The young held a square-shaped wooden pole and he yelled out those words as soon as he got on.

Before the young man finished saying that, Yonggang's mobile telephone rang and the nervous voice of a woman came through: "Yonggang, my son heard the broadcast, removed a table leg and charged out of the house.  I couldn't stop him!  His name is Qi Bin.  He is only 19 years old.  If you come across him, please help me to take care of him!"

"His name is Qi Bin?"  Yonggang wanted to make sure, but the young man behind him grabbed the mobile telephone.

"Mom, it's me, Qi Bin!  I am in the same car with Yonggang!  You don't have to worry!"

According to estimates, more than 300 ordinary citizens joined in the hunt of the criminals.

According to one taxi driver, the most crowded taxi had seven young men in it.  "These brothers treated the taxi like a public bus."

The Sierbao toll station on the western rural area of Huludao is on the western route to exit Huludao and about 45 kilometers from Xiaocaotun village.

At around 9pm on the night of December 9, the station chief on duty was Jia Rong and he was chatting with two colleagues in the duty room.  The black telephone on the desk rang.

The caller claimed to be the director named "Keke" at the Lianshan district radio station.  He told Jia Rong that a fleet of cars chasing after criminals will be passing through the Sierbao toll station.  "The cars will all have double-flashing lights.  Can you please open a free green lane for them?"

"This better not be a prank?"  Jia Rong thought about it and called the number "3321021" back.  After ascertaining the call, he asked his superior and then opened up a free toll lane.

At 9:10pm, the taxi driver Niu Yongli was the first taxi driver to reach Sierbao.  This self-proclaimed "number one listener to Yang Guang's program" is an enthusiastic person whom other taxi drivers describe as "the second busiest person in Huludao behind the mayor."

That evening, Niu Yongli had just picked up a passenger in the city.  When he heard Liu Bing's call to the hotline, he persuaded the passenger to disembark and headed straight towards the Sierbao toll station with the double-flashing lights.  On the way there, he turned away two potential passengers.

"This was the first time that I turned any passenger away.  I wonder if they will complain against me?"  Afterwards, this taxi driver who has been in the business for more than 20 years wondered smilingly.

Five minutes later, the fleet led by Yang Guang also reached Sierbao.  He counted the numbers and found that there were more than 200 taxis all doing the double-flashing lights.  In the distance, many more flashing car lights were moving in the direction of the toll station.

"They were so bright that even the stars in the sky became invisible," one taxi driver who was at the scene said.

At 920pm, Yang Guang jumped on the car hood and yelled: "Let us get started!"  He returned into the car, stepped on the gas and the car raced off.

Niu Yongli's car did not have a heater.  He parked his car inside the toll station and then he jumped into Yang Guang's car.  At this time, he took a peek at the thermometer outside the toll station.  There were the red letters: "-10 degrees."

According to the statistics from the Sierbao toll station, about 430 vehicles with double-flashing lights went through on this cold night.  The traffic continued until about 430am.  Apart from the taxis, there were civilian cars such as Baolai, Cherokee, QQ and even a new BMW X5.


At the same time, on various other roads in Huludao, there were many other vehicles heading to Xiaocaotun village.  According to estimates, the total number of vehicles that took part in the hunt was around 700.

At around 8pm on the evening of September, City Electricity Company employee Liu Zhong was in his white Honda car going to shop at the supermarket.  On that morning, his son who was attending school in Jinzhou had stomach cramps.  Liu drove seven hours to take his son back to Huludao city hospital.

When he heard Zhang Cheng's proposals on "Traffic Hotline," Liu Zhong hesitated a few seconds and then called his wife who was taking care of their son at the hospital.  He told her that he was heading off to catch criminals.  He was worried that it might be dangerous, so he went back to the family restaurant and asked three workers to come along.

Before departing, Liu Zhong took off the car license plates and put them in the car trunk.  Although they were traveling in unlit mountain roads, the speed was never under 100 kilometers per hour.  The three companions were scared.  At just after 9pm, his car had already arrived in Xiaocaotun village.

According to the information, this was the first vehicle in the support fleet to reach Xiaocaotun village.

Yang Guang's car was also running fast.  Niu Yongli sat next to him and recalled that when they went over a bump, he grabbed the door handle and yelled: "Yang Guang! Slow down!  We are in the air!"

The fleet stopped only once.  On the road not too far away from Sierbao, a private car had overturned and the driver was standing by the roadside and telephoning for help.

Niu Yongli rolled down the car windows and asked: "Brother, do you need help?"

"No, no.  Someone from my family is coming."  The man who is in this 30's smiled sincerely.  "I don't want to slow you down from catching the criminals.  If my car had not overturned, I would be going with you."

In just 20 minutes, Yang Guang's fleet covered the 45 kilometers of pitch dark mountain roads to reach Xiaocaotun village.

About 30 minutes earlier, Liu Zhong and Liu Bing knocked on the door to the store.

The storeowner was a peasant woman in her 50's or 60's.  She told the two that nobody came to buy anything this evening.  "I was sleeping the whole night."

"Could I have been mistaken?"  Liu Bing began to doubt himself.

"It does not matter.  They could not have gone far."  Yang Guang picked up the telephone and divided the drivers at the scene into six groups, each heading off in a different direction for the hunt.  He was the commander who remained at Xiaocaotun village.


At 10:15pm, a taxi driver staying at Xiaocaotun village observed a light moving on the mountain to the west.

"Could this be the stolen car?"  He yelled aloud.

Yang Guang reported the finding to the studio and then he led the more than 30 vehicles towards that direction.

Taxi driver Chen Jian was in that fleet.  He almost missed the hunt tonight.

"Thanks to my wife for being righteous and decisive."  He said with an embarrassed smile.

Chen Jian drives the day shift.  At around 8pm that evening, he was playing the online game World of Warcraft.  His wife Chen Lan was listening to radio.  Suddenly, she exclaimed "They have been found!" and she bounced up from the bed.

"Found whom?"

"The hijacked car!  In Xiaocaotun village.  Let us go quickly."  Chen Lan took off her earphone and began to put on her shoes.

"I'm not going.  Can't you see that I'm busy?"  Chen Jian was directing a cow-headed figure named "big full" and trying to PK another player.

"Other people are trying to catch real criminals while you are playing with virtual people.  Are you a man?"  Chen Lan then yanked the computer network cable out.  "If this get out tomorrow, how will you face any of your colleagues?"

"I f**k!  Let me catch a criminal to show you!" said Chen Jian as he tossed the keyboard aside.

More than an hour later, Chen Jian and Chen Lan arrived in Xiaocaotun village just in time to catch the fleet that was heading up the mountain.

Xiaocaotun village is more than 10 kilometers away from that mountain.  The roads were bumpy dirt paths.  Half way there, the light in motion suddenly vanished.

At 10:45pm, Yang Guang and others arrived at the bottom of the mountain and they found out that there was no road for cars to move up the mountain.

"Let's go back," someone said.  Nobody said anything.  More than a hundred people looked at Yang Guang.

Yang Guang thought about it.  He took out a small flashlight from his car and started walking up the mountain.

"Let's follow!"  Everybody yelled.

There were three criminals armed with knifes.  For the sake of safety, Yang Guang left four or five people each time that the road branches into multiple paths.  He took three taxi drivers and headed straight for the mountain top.

Chen Jian also got out and he helped Chen Lan alone.  It was very cold.  He could see the white mist coming out of his mouth in the light of the flashlight.

"Doesn't it seem like my cow-headed person is unleashing magic?" He teased Chen Lan.

At that moment, the two of them and three other taxi drivers were following a branch road and they came upon a frozen pond.  As the flashlight swung past, Chen Jian discovered some marks on the ice.

"There are car tire marks!"  He let go of Chen Lan's hand and rushed over.  Suddenly he slipped and he felt his body fly in the air and then fall heavily on the ice surface.

Chen Lan screamed "Oh!"

So Yang Guang who was nearly on the mountain top quickly rushed down, as the rocks and him slid downwards.

But the people then found a hilarious scene: the car tire marks on the ice were created by a horse-drawn carriage, according to a taxi driver who once drove horse-drawn carriages.

At the same time, Yong Gang's other fleets had no progress.

At each branch, Yong Gang left four or five cars behind.  The hunters searched every village along the way.  If there was any courtyard entrance that appeared wide enough for a car to go through, someone would get up and look over the wall to check what was in the yard.  They even checked the stacks of wood and hay on the roadside.

"Even the village dogs were scared and dared not bark," a taxi driver recalled.

From 9pm on December 9 to 2am on December 10, the several tens of square kilometers around Xiaocaotun village were searched by the six teams of hunters.  The group that traveled the farthest went out as far as 60 kilometers.  But they did not find anything suspicious.

At around 2:30pm on December 10, almost all of the car had returned empty-handed to Xiaocaotun village.  According to several taxi drivers, some of the cars silently turned around and left.

"Many cars left with them, but the majority stayed," said Niu Yongli.


At 9pm on September 9, when Xin Lan entered the broadcast studio to take Yang Guang's place, she did not imagine that "I would be sitting there for 12 hours."

Eager listeners began to offer descriptions of the geography around Xiaocaotun.  They mentioned many obscure paths that do not even appear on maps.  "If you take what they said, you can draw a new map."

Yang Guang kept continual touch with the studio while the search was going on.  He directed the latecomers to the newly discovered road segments.

The four hotlines in the studio continued to ring non-stop.  Xin Lan did not even dare go to the restroom because she was afraid of missing out on valuable information.

The live broadcast ended at 8am on December 10.  She left the studio only once at 3am.  In order to stay awake, she asked the listeners for a five-minute break and went into the restroom to pour cold water on her head.

Afterwards, she joked with her colleagues: "If you add up all the telephone calls that I have received in my career prior to this, it is still smaller than what I got on that night."

Actually, by 1am on December 10, Xin Lan's voice was almost "half-gone."  She took a sip of hot water to moisten her throat.  Suddenly, she remembered that the hunters also needed food and water on this cold night.

"Let us put our love into actual action."  Through the hotline, Xin Lan made a proposal.

31-year-old Li Xiuquan was the first to call the hotline in support of the proposal.  Several years ago, a taxi driver relative of hers vanished along with his car.  Several months later, the family could only set up a symbolic grave for him.

"I hate those bad criminals," said Li Xiuquan.

When she heard Xin Lan's proposal, this woman who had been unemployed for two months jumped out from underneath her warm blankets and knocked on the door of a breakfast restaurant in her neighborhood.  She spent the 113 RMB left on her person to buy freshly made soy milk.

Most of those who offered their support for the hunters that night were ordinary citizens like Li Xiuquan.

A duck breeder used a tricycle to bring over a bucket of cooked eggs.  In case the eggs get cold, the bucket was wrapped with several cotton jackets.

A restaurant waiter told Xin Lan that he could not afford to buy anything, but will some bottles of hot water help?

A barbeque meat shop owner bought all the instant noodles and ham soups in the surrounding supermarkets.  There was enough to fill eight taxis.

Half an hour later, the food items brought to the entrance of the Lianshan radio station building was stacked into a mound about one storey tall.

At just past 2am, the first team of supply troops handed the food out to the hunters who were getting demoralized.  One taxi driver shivering in Yang Guang's car took a sip of soy milk and yelled: "Xin Lan.  I love you to death!"

At that moment, Yang Guang jumped out of the car and yelled: "If we turn back now, we will be letting down our home supporters back there!  We will do this job thoroughly.  When daylight comes, we will search one more time.  If we don't find anything, we can return.  We won't have any regrets!"


At that time, in the studio of Huludao city radio, Zhang Cheng was full of regrets because he had just finished his broadcast.

At 9:40pm that evening, he even set up a special hotline "3202878" for the robbers.

In the program, he had this sincere message to the robbers: "You only robbed a car, but you did not hurt anyone.  If you are listening to my program, I hope that you can call this number and turn yourself in.  Even if you call me one minute before the police arrest you, I will testify that you turned yourself in."

As soon as he finished, the newly opened telephone line rang.

Zhang Cheng's hand was shaking as he picked up the phone.

"Hi, Zhang Cheng?  I could not get through on the other lines, so I had to call this.  Can you tell me where to go?"  It was another concerned driver.

On that night, the special line rang dozens of times, all of them from concerned citizens.

At 2am on December 10, Yonggang sent news back from the local police station.  The owner of the small store in Xiaocaotun village has finally admitted that the suspected robbers had spent ten RMB on gas that night and she has identified the persons to the police.  However, the police requested that the information be kept confidential.

In order to cooperate with the police investigation and ensure that information was not leaked during the program, the Huludao city radio terminated the live broadcast at 2:30am on December 10.

As he turned off the equipment, it was the first time that Zhang Cheng did not say "goodbye" to his listeners.  "In my heart, I was still broadcasting the program," Zhang Cheng remembered.

What happened next really warmed Zhang Cheng: The Xiaoyu fast food restaurant next to the city radio office building sent over 100 boxes of fast food and the boss Zhang Xiaoyu personally brought them over to the station on a big tricycle over two trips.

When Zhang Cheng took out his wallet to pay, Zhang Xiaoyu vanished in a flash.  "He was as slick and quick as an eel.  I couldn't catch him."

Afterwards, the Huludao city radio decided that whenever their employees have to call out for take-out food orders, they must order box lunches from the Xiaoyu fast food restaurant.  "Anyone who violates this rule will be fined if found."


At around 5 am on December 10, the temperature dropped to the lowest point of the day.  There has been no substantive development in the case.

Yang Guang fell asleep without realizing it.  His body was covered by Niu Yongli's cotton jacket.  The owner of the jacket was asleep in another unheated car along with several other taxi drivers.

At that moment, Yang Guang's mobile telephone rang.  He woke up to the sound.

The telephone call came from an unknown driver.  This night-shift taxi driver said that he had just picked up a customer in Lijiawopu village more than 40 kilometers away from Xiaocaotun village.  That passenger said that as he walked out of the village, he seemed to have seen a Santana taxi "that looked like the one that you guys are looking for."

Yang Guang took the call and then quietly drove away in his car.  The groggy Niu Yongli woke up and patted the driver: "Yang Guang has just left.  Follow him, follow him!"

At that moment, the husband Zhang Lichun and son Zhang Zhihua of the robbed female driver Guo Jun also followed Yang Guang's car.  At the toll station in front of the Lijiawopu village entrance, Zhang Zhihua counted seven cars included theirs in the fleet.

Twenty minutes later, the fleet of cars entered into that obscure path inside Lijiawopu village.  They turned around a corner and the hijacked Liaoning PB1035 showed up right in front of their headlights!

"My mother!  I finally found you!"  Niu Yongli was so excited that his voice was changed.  He pounded on the steering wheel and he bounced up and bumped his head against the car roof.

The hijacked car had the engine running.  Through the closed window, the hunters can hear the sound of the heater and music.

"Hey!  There is someone inside!"  Niu Yongli was the first to get to the front of the car.  A pair of legs wearing socks was placed motionless on the steering wheel.

"Drag him out of there!"  Someone tried to open the car door, but it was locked from the inside.

"Let's break in!" Someone yelled.

"Break in?"  Niu Yongli was unsure.  Everybody looked at the Zhang father and son.

"F**k!  Let's break in!" said 25-year-old Zhang Zhihua and pounded on his fist on the front car window, causing the glass to crack.

The sleeping man woke up to the sound.  He sat up and looked at the scene with fright in his eyes.  His hands reached for the steering wheel.

"Oh, no!  He is trying to escape!"  Niu Yongli picked up a brick from the ground and smashed it against the car window on the driver's side.  The broken glass pieces flew inside the car and the person inside said "ouch" and put his hands on his face.

Then three or four people opened the car door and dragged the man out.  More than twenty people then started to kick and stomp him.

Yang Guang did not get out of the car at first.  He called the hotline line of the live broadcast and reported that the hijacked car has been found.  Afterwards, he did not respond to Xin Lan's excited voice over the telephone.  Instead, he hurried out of the car to stop the taxi drivers from beating the man further.

Ten minutes later, the police found out the addresses of the other two persons from the arrested suspect.

At 7:10am on the morning of December 10, several hundred taxis surrounded the village.  The other two suspects were dragged out of their beds and placed under arrest.

Thus ended the almost 45-hour "total population manhunt" over two days.

Afterwards, the police revealed that the three robbers were between the ages of 18 to 20.  According to information, their families were reasonably well off and they had hijacked the taxi "just for fun."

At 8am on December 10, Xin Lan wrapped up her show.  When she stepped out of the Lianshan radio station building, she was stunned by the spectacle: several hundred cars were crowded in front.  Someone set off firecrackers and several taxi drivers carried her and put her on top of a car.  "Speech!  Speech!"

"Hey, it felt really great to be a star!"  Xin Lan was still very delighted as she recounted this episode afterwards.

Meanwhile another episode that morning was unforgettable for Yang Guang.  As he led the car fleet back into the city, citizens waiting at the Sierbao toll station unfolded a wide banner saying: "Welcome back our heroes!"

"For the first time in my life, I felt that I was a  hero," said Yang Guang.