Tue, Feb 11, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Undercover police at Zihnan Temple eventually quell pickpocket’s paradise
紫南宮爆人潮 便衣警防扒奏效

A police officer, right, holds a sign that reads “pay attention to your bag, watch out for pickpockets” in front of Zihnan Temple, a famous Earth God temple, in Nantou County’s Jhushan Township on Feb. 4.

Photo: Chen Hsin-jen, Liberty Times

Nearly 100,000 worshippers visited Nantou County’s Zihnan Temple every day during the Spring Festival break, making it a veritable pickpocket’s paradise. As many as nine pickpocket cases were reported at the temple on the second day of the Lunar New Year alone, which caught the attention of the local police precinct in Jhushan Township. The precinct subsequently set up a mobile police substation near the temple and mobilized several plainclothes police to monitor the situation, which was apparently effective in deterring pickpockets from thieving and also helped put the temple’s mind at ease.

Jhushan Township’s Zihnan Temple is one of Taiwan’s most famous Earth God temples. It is an especially popular destination among temple-goers looking for a place to make offerings during the Spring Festival, attracting boisterous throngs of worshippers who gather at the plaza in front of the temple every day. People even queue up in extremely long lines to borrow money from the temple. The seasonal swarm of gatherers also seem to serve as an exploitable opportunity for pickpockets.

Zihnan Temple says that even though it always increases its theft prevention guidance every year, nine people still fell victim to pickpockets on the second day of the Lunar New Year this year, with one temple-goer losing more than NT$30,000.

After the temple contacted the local police, the precinct dispatched more police officers to go undercover, monitoring the area, making video recordings and collecting evidence.

The temple says that during the Lunar New Year break the police set up a mobile police substation and dispatched plainclothes police officers at the temple plaza after a pickpocket case was reported. Starting on the third day of the Lunar New Year, no more pickpocket cases were reported for the remainder of the holiday. The temple urges worshippers to be on high alert as a continuous influx of temple-goers visit the temple up through the Lantern Festival.


1. boisterous adj.

喧鬧的;狂歡的 (xuan1 nao4 de5; kuang2 huan1 de5)

例: The couple’s boisterous argument in the parking lot attracted a lot of attention from passersby.


2. swarm n.

一大群;一大批;大量 (yi2 da4 qun2; yi2 da4 pi1; da4 liang4)

例: A swarm of fans crowded around the singer for autographs.


3. remainder n.

剩餘物;其餘的人 (sheng4 yu2 wu4; qi2 yu2 de5 ren2)

例: After such a large purchase, be sure not to touch the remainder of your savings for a while.


(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)







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