Beijing, Jan 3 (IANS) Three people have been held in China's Shanghai city for using darts and crossbows to steal and kill dogs for selling their meat later, police said.
The trio reportedly rode on motorcycles and shot dogs with crossbows and darts in rural Qingpu district Monday and Tuesday last week. They were held earlier this week, Shanghai Daily reported.
As patrolling police noticed them, the three drove towards the officers and hit them with helmets in an attempt to escape, police said.
The officers finally apprehended the dog thieves and seized darts, crossbows and several dying dogs from them. It was yet to be ascertained if the darts contained tranquilisers or poison.
One of the men, surnamed Zhang, later said he stole more than 10 dogs using the darts this winter.
According to police, there has been a rise in the number of missing dogs in suburban Shanghai as the temperature falls. Dog meat is popular during winter among eaters of hotpot -- a dish made traditionally from lamb or mutton and onion.