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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Say Boys' Murder Tied to Cell Phone Theft

City Crime Statistics
 Aug. 7 – Aug. 13* 
Theft (total)713287
Car theft186
 For the Record 
Car accidents145
a) killed17
b) injured185
Missing persons26
Bodies discovered54
*City police said statistics for Sept. 9 and 10 were missing due to technical problems.
Source: Moscow police

Police in the Moscow region have detained three young men suspected of beating two 15-year-old boys to death in order to steal their cell phones, prosecutors said Tuesday.

The suspects, aged 15 to 22, were detained over the weekend in connection with the beating deaths of Kirill Khromushkin and Dmitry Timofeyev, whose bodies were discovered Thursday night in a forest outside the village of Vorovskogo, 30 kilometers northeast of Moscow, regional prosecutor's office spokeswoman Yelena Rossokhina said.

Khromushkin and Timofeyev died of injuries to the head and face inflicted by a dull object not long before their bodies were discovered at around 10 p.m., Rossokhina said.

A fight broke out between the victims and the suspected assailants over Khromushkin's and Timofeyev's cell phones, prosecutors said. The suspects punched and beat the victims over the head with sticks, Rossokhina said.

"According to preliminary information, murder was committed in order to obtain the victims' cell phones," Rossokhina said.

Moskovsky Komsomolets reported Tuesday that the victims had been hanging out with a group of girls who left them alone in the forest shortly before the suspected assailants arrived.

When they girls returned, they discovered the bodies of Khromushkin and Timofeyev and notified police, the newspaper reported.

The Interior Ministry has noted a wave of violent crimes against minors this year, including several in the Moscow region. Most of these crimes, however, are believed to have been committed by adults.

Instead, the deadly attack appears to fall into the trend of cell phone-related crimes. Police and prosecutors have registered numerous violent crimes -- including arson and homicide -- in recent years that they say were committed in order to obtain cell phones.