Police officers who arrested a man who suspected of robbing a post office in Nantou County were praised yesterday by Minister of the Interior Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) as he visited police precincts in two townships.
Hsu visited precincts in Jhushan (竹山) and Tsaotun (草屯) townships alongside Nantou County Police Bureau Chief Chen Mu-shu (陳木樹) and gave officers involved in the investigation boxes of fruit.
“To quickly solve a major crime like this boosts public confidence and can prevent copycat crimes,” Hsu said.
A man in a mask entered a post office in Lugu Township (鹿谷) on Thursday afternoon and pointed a handgun at the sole clerk on duty, yelling: “Give me the money,” police said.
The clerk gave the man NT$500,000 and the robber fled in car, police said.
Working through the night, officers used fingerprints left at the scene, vehicle registration information, surveillance footage and other material to narrow down their suspect list to a Nantou City man surnamed Chou (周), 38.
Chou was spotted at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Friday morning, ready to board a flight to China, and was arrested at a passenger exit area, police said.
He had a few thousand New Taiwan dollars and Chinese yuan on him at the time of his arrest.
He allegedly told police that most of the stolen money had been wired to his Chinese girlfriend, adding that he had robbed the post office because he was unemployed and his girlfriend wanted more money.
Chou was taken to his residence, where officers seized several items, police said, adding that they were still trying to determine if he had an accomplice or if others had helped him try to flee the country.
In other developments, Hsu said that law enforcement officials were taking preliminary measures to prevent vote-buying ahead of the nine-in-one elections on Nov. 24.
“There will be no tolerance of criminal syndicates or gangsters pretending to be part of political parties, or civic or religious organizations to carry out violent activities to destabilize society and undermine national security,” he said.
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