Mon, Oct 08, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Officer convicted for stealing milk from police office fridge

By Wen Yu-te and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

The Taipei District Court last week found police officer Chen Po-yuan (陳伯元) guilty of the intent to steal indefinitely and fined him NT$2,000 for taking a bottle of probiotic milk from his precinct’s refrigerator.

The sentence would be suspended for two years, is commutable to two days of physical labor and can be appealed, the court said.

Chen was accused by a superior at the Taipei City Police Department’s Wenshan First Precinct of stealing a bottle of Yakult from the public refrigerator on June 11.

Yakult costs NT$9 per bottle.

Chen admitted to the deed in court, but said he had taken the bottle as there was a package of a dozen in the refrigerator.

Chen also alluded to a prior incident in which he accidentally took a bottle from another colleague, adding that it was also a mistake.

The court said in its ruling that as Chen had confessed to similar deeds before and was warned, he should have been aware that items stored in the public refrigerator were not meant for public use, so taking a bottle without asking first confirmed that he harbored an intent to steal indefinitely.

As Chen had no criminal record, and the victim had earlier said that he would be willing to accept a delayed sentence, the court overruled the plaintiff’s ultimate decision not to accept Chen’s apology and delayed the implementation of his sentence.

The victim also complained to the National Police Agency director-general via Facebook that the precinct had not punished Chen, saying that it was attempting to protect him.

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