Thu, Mar 30, 2017 - Page 4 News List

Taichung police believe 14-year-old crime solved

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taichung police have identified a suspect and obtained a confession in their investigation of an armed robbery that took place 14 years ago, the city’s Dongshi Precinct said on Tuesday.

The suspect, who is serving a two-year prison sentence for an unrelated drug offense, told investigators that he robbed a betel nut stand in 2003, holding an employee at knifepoint before making off with NT$5,000, police said.

The case was reopened after police officer Lee Ling-kuo noticed that there had been convictions in three similar robberies that had occurred near the same area at about the same time, police said.

Lee came upon the case while the precinct was clearing out some old files and he was asked to investigate it, police said.

Police accused the man convicted of the three other robberies, a 39-year-old surnamed Chung (鐘), of the holdup in Taichung’s Shigang District (石岡), and he admitted to the crime, police said.

The man had already completed a sentence of eight years for the three previous robberies, while his later drug conviction resulted in a two-year prison sentence that is due to end in July, police said.

However, he is likely to remain in custody until the conclusion of the betel nut stand robbery case, which is being handled by the Taichung District Prosecutors’ Office, police said.

During questioning, the suspect kept asking why investigators were pursuing an insignificant 14-year-old robbery at a betel nut stand, police said.

They said the case ran cold because surveillance camera technology in 2003 was not as sophisticated as it is now.

The minimum prison sentence for robbery involving the use of violence, threats, drugs, hypnosis, or other types of coercion is five years under Taiwanese law.

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