Mon, Oct 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Two Vietnamese apprehended in shoplifting case

CAUGHT:Police surveillance paid off with a raid on a man and woman from Vietnam after footage allegedly showed the pair lifting cellphones from shoppers’ purses and backpacks

Staff Writer, with CNA

A Vietnamese man and woman have been arrested on suspicion of stealing mobile phones in Kaohsiung shopping areas and stashing them in their hotel room before taking them out of Taiwan, a statement released yesterday by Kaohsiung’s Cianjhen Police Precinct said.

The police recovered 73 mobile phones of various brands during a raid, the statement said.

Several people had reported the disappearance of mobile phones from their purses or backpacks while shopping at department stores, hypermarkets and night markets around the city, the statement said. The large number of stolen goods made police suspect that a criminal ring was behind the thefts, prompting them to form a task force to investigate the case.

Upon retrieving video surveillance data provided by hypermarkets and department stores where the mobile phones were reported stolen, the task force found that a male and female pair of foreign nationals consistently appeared at the sites.

The police found that the suspects, identified as Nguyen and Pham, targeted women with bags and that a typical theft would involve the female suspect approaching a woman and covering the target’s bag with clothing displayed in the store before picking out the victim’s mobile phone and handing it over to her partner.

After 10 days of surveillance, the police spotted the pair on Sept. 29 in a shopping center in Cianjhen District (前鎮) and waited for the right time to apprehend them.

The pair allegedly managed to steal two iPhones, but attempted to hide them under merchandise in an apparel store after discovering that they were being followed by police and attempting to flee.

However, their act was detected by police, who retrieved the two stolen phones and arrested the suspects.

The pair, who had entered Taiwan on Sept. 15 on tourist visas, have been referred to prosecutors for further investigation.

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