A man who impersonated a police officer and made patrols in Taipei’s Ximending (西門町) had his charade exposed on Thursday by an alert policeman.
According to a police report, Lin Chin-chung (林欽中), unemployed, had always wanted to be a police officer and on Thursday visited a shop in Ximending that sells party props and costumes.
Lin spent about NT$10,000 (US$338) on a fake police uniform set, which included some accessories used by regular officers, the police said.
According to the police report, Lin then donned the outfit, which included a police safety vest, a badge, a cross-strap and belt, a walkie-talkie, handcuffs and even a replica pistol in a holster before making patrol rounds in the area.
Lin even visited an Internet cafe and carried out a spot check, the case report said.
It was all going well for Lin until actual police officers from the local precinct on Wuchang Street (武昌街) drove by in their police vehicle.
Police officer Wu Pei-hua (吳沛樺) reported thinking there was something that looked odd about Lin before realizing that he was wearing the force’s summer uniform, which has short sleeves.
As the city’s police are still in their winter uniforms, which have long sleeves, Wu stopped the car to question Lin
“We will switch to summer uniforms on May 16. Why did you make the change so early?” Wu asked.
Lin was unable to answer the question and admitted he was not a real policeman, Wu said.
According to police, people who masquerade as police officers are committing a criminal act in violation of Article 158 of the Criminal Code.