Mon, Oct 07, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Peruvians held after cafe thefts

ESCAPE DENIED:Camera footage shows two men stealing at public places in Taipei, and the Peruvians were found with cameras, wallets and smartphones

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Two Peruvian men were on Saturday prevented from leaving Taiwan before boarding a flight at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport after police linked them to allegations of thefts at cafes and restaurants in the capital, Taipei police told a news conference yesterday.

The Daan Police Precinct received reports from two people who said that their wallets, bags, cameras and other items had been taken.

“We formed a task force, which identified two suspects after checking surveillance camera footage,” Daan Precinct Investigation Unit chief Che Yu-chi (車宇基) said. “The task force traced two men to hotels they had stayed at.”

“To prevent two Peruvian visitors from leaving Taiwan, we applied for arrest warrants from Taipei prosecutors and stopped them at the airport on Saturday as they were preparing to board a flight,” Che said.

Footage from a Taipei cafe that was played at the news conference showed two men walking through a cafe, taking items left unattended by customers.

Investigators questioned the men at the airport and found two cameras worth NT$360,000 in total, smartphones, personal items and NT$2,000 and US$1,000 in cash, Che said.

“Based on the reports and the evidence, the two are involved in at least six cases in Taipei, including at restaurants at five-star hotels, at a Dante Coffee and a Starbucks, and at a food court at Taipei International Airport” (Songshan airport), Che said.

“We are reviewing more footage and checking other items, because the pair might be involved in more cases, as some of those who lost items could be foreigners who did not report their losses,” he said.

“They also traveled to Kaohsiung and other cities in southern Taiwan, so we are coordinating with police there to determine where they stayed and whether they were involved in other cases,” Che said.

The Peruvians were transferred to the Taipei District Prosecutors’ Office for questioning, he said.

The Taipei District Court approved prosecutors’ suggestion that the duo be detained with restricted communication.

They face charges of theft amid an ongoing investigation, he added.

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