Starting in August, a teenage boy surnamed Huang who had dyed his hair reddish purple had been taking taxis back to Keelung after going to nightclubs in Taipei. He would tell the drivers he did not have enough money to pay his fare and then claim to be going home to get money but would never return. Due to the distinct characteristics of his hair color, Huang was eventually located and arrested on Tuesday last week near Tung Shih Street in Keelung’s Nuan Nuan District.
Since August, the taxi customer had become notorious for taking cabs in the wee hours of the morning and then running away without paying his fares on more than five occasions. What really peeved taxi drivers in the area, though, was that he was doing this just as gas prices were on the rise, so the drivers angrily filed police reports at the Keelung City Municipal Police Department’s Third Precinct.
The police used surveillance footage from cameras along the route the taxis had taken on the dates in question, and along with footage from convenience stores they were able to identify the purple-haired suspect who had failed to pay fares ranging from NT$500 to NT$600 each time.
The police spotted the 17-year-old Huang while they were on patrol on Tuesday last week. When they approached him they discovered that he looked exactly the same as the boy they saw in the surveillance footage and took him in for questioning.
In his police statement, Huang claimed that he did it for the sheer fun of it, adding that after visiting friends in Taipei he would take taxis home and use the excuse of not having enough money to pay his fare to run away without paying. After police interrogated him, he was brought up on charges of fraud.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)