Sat, Feb 04, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Robberies mark end of holiday

STICK-UPS A gun-toting duo robbed a Taipei County bank, and another pair of criminals shot and robbed guards transporting money from a Tainan RT-MART

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Cameramen yesterday swarm over the scene of a bank robbery at the Sinjhuang branch of Hua Nan Bank in Taipei County, after police completed their investigation of the scene and removed the cordon.

PHOTO: WU CHIA-YI, TAIPEI TIMES

Robbers made off with more than NT$8 million (US$250,000) and wounded two security guards yesterday in two separate incidents at a Taipei County bank and Taitung County RT-MART supermarket.

"Two criminals with a pistol and a knife rushed into Hua Nan Bank in Sinjhuang City (新莊), Taipei County yesterday morning. While a criminal put his gun to a security guard's head and threatened to shoot him, another man jumped behind the counter and took cash from the drawers," said Taipei County Police Department Commissioner Huang Mao-suei (黃茂穗) yesterday at the bank. "They left the bank on a scooter."

The robbery lasted less than a minute and the criminals made off with NT$4.14 million, Huang said. About 40 people huddled on the floor during the robbery, with no one daring to resist the armed hooligans.

Huang said both suspects wore helmets and gloves, and that police have so far been unable to identify or track the pair.

Police found two white coats worn by the robbers abandoned on a street near the bank, and found the getaway vehicle near Banciao (板橋) train station.

Huang said that the suspects likely chose yesterday for their heist because it was the first business day after the Lunar Near Year holiday and banks were expected to be busy and flush with cash deposits. Huang said the crime seemed well-prepared.

Huang ruled out the possibility that the crime was committed by a man who stole a police pistol on Thursday close to the bank. According to one witness to the robbery, the gun used in the robbery did not look like a police pistol, Huang added.

Meanwhile, in Taitung County, robbers wounded and stole NT$4 million from two security guards who were transporting the money from an RT-MART to the bank, Taitung police said.

The cash was the store's income from the Lunar New Year holidays, police said.

Police said the two security guards resisted and fought with the criminals, who shot both of them.

A guard surnamed Huang was seriously wounded by three shots, and the other guard was shot in the left knee. Doctors said that the pair were in stable condition.

The two suspects wore helmets and masks, and fled by scooter toward nearby mountains.

The crime scene was not monitored by any surveillance cameras, police said.

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