Two police officers have been arrested in Moscow after attempting to steal a bag containing the proceeds of an apartment sale from a passerby, police said on Friday.
The attempted robbery occurred on Thursday evening after the off-duty officers encountered a 36-year-old man who had just sold his apartment. The man had the 1.7 million ($58,500) from the sale of his apartment in a bag and was drinking in the street with a friend.
The officers accepted an invitation to have a drink with the man and his friend, after which they attacked both men with baseball bats and tried to grab the bag. The police spokesman did not say where the baseball bats had come from.
An overall reform aimed at improving the public image of the police force is currently underway in Russia. Russian police officers have been accused or convicted of a number of horrific crimes in recent years, from murder to rape.
Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev used his annual Police Day address in late 2009 to remind police chiefs that officers should point their weapons at criminals, and not aim them at law-abiding citizens. Shortly after this, he advised ordinary citizens to “give as good as they get” if they are attacked for no reason by officers.