A man suspected of stealing valuable artifacts from the Eikichi Iso Memorial House in Taipei was apprehended on Tuesday, police said.
The site, on a National Taiwan University (NTU) farm, was previously the workshop of Eikichi Iso, a Japanese agronomist from the Japanese colonial era who was credited for creating Penglai rice, a variety that is still cultivated today.
Taipei City Police Department’s Daan Precinct said that on Aug. 10, NTU officials reported a break-in, during which seven artifacts were stolen, including a valuable Japanese-made mechanical calculator manufactured by Tiger Calculating Machine Co that is reputed to be the most advanced calculator of its kind when it was made — half the size of the most sophisticated German machine.
Photo: Chiu Chun-fu, Taipei Times
Only three of the devices are known to remain in Taiwan, police said.
Other antique scientific instruments allegedly taken from the house included a brass microscope piece that was considered high-powered and well-made for its time, a rice grain hardness tester, an anemometer, a device described as a “plotter,” a microscope camera and a leather ruler.
Police named Song Lan-tien (宋藍田), 41, as the suspect, saying he had confessed to the crime following his apprehension, and that they had found the stolen items in a vehicle.
Song said he has been trading antiques online using his cellphone and he kept his collection in his vehicle because he does not have a fixed address, police said.
Song was formerly a member of the Bamboo Union crime cartel and was released from prison last year after serving time for a sex crime, police said.
Song described himself as having been an antiques aficionado since childhood, police said, adding that he has an impressive knowledge of antiques, especially brass instruments, and is able to expound on their history at length, despite having no college education.
Song was quoted as telling the police that at 4am on Aug. 10, he was cycling in the neighborhood and saw the Eikichi Iso Memorial House was poorly secured.
He broke into the house by kicking down its wooden door, police said.
Inside, Song found items that he called “priceless treasures,” police said, adding that the suspect told them the antiques would have been too difficult to sell, even if he had he wanted to.
He planned to steal five other bulky pieces by moving them to a nearby shed for later retrieval, but when he returned the next morning, he found that surveillance cameras had been installed and the shed doors were locked, prompting him to flee, police quoted Song as saying.
Police said they reviewed surveillance footage and found Song after locating his bicycle.
All the stolen items were recovered, they said.
EVA Airways was ranked the eighth-best airline in the world for this year, the only Taiwanese carrier to make it into the top 25 Airline Excellence Awards this year, aviation reviews Web site AirlineRatings.com said on Wednesday. AirlineRatings.com has a seven-star rating system to evaluate more than 360 airlines around the world every year, EVA Airways said in a statement on Thursday. “We are delighted that efforts by the entire EVA staff have been recognized by Airline Ratings,” EVA Airways president Clay Sun (孫嘉明) said in the release. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the company identified and adopted services and procedures that enhance and
A promotional event for the launch of a drinks store led to police questioning a 26-year-old woman surnamed Chang (張), the Taichung Police Department said yesterday. Police said that they questioned Chang and forwarded the case to prosecutors, accusing her of producing, distributing, broadcasting or selling pornography. Police said she faces charges related to the alleged distribution of indecent photographs on Twitter and using overtly sexual innuendos to promote the store on Monday night. Officers stumbled upon the content during a routine Internet “patrol.” Chang faces a prison sentence of up to two years and up to a NT$90,000 fine if found guilty
Exiled Chinese democracy advocate Wang Dan (王丹) yesterday denied an accusation by former Taiwanese political worker Lee Yuan-chun (李援軍) that Wang had sexually harassed him in a hotel room in New York nine years ago. There was a huge gap between Lee’s accusation and his own understanding and memory, Wang wrote on Facebook, adding it was hard for him to respond further regarding a “unilateral description” made by someone else. Wang made the remarks after his initial response on Facebook was met with criticism, with people saying he did not directly address the allegation. Lee on Friday wrote on Facebook that he
MORE WARNINGS: If the US company does not clarify and solve issues with its frozen berries, the FDA might extend an import suspension implemented last month, it said The Kaohsiung Department of Health yesterday said it fined Costco NT$4.5 million (US$146,265) over contaminated frozen strawberries, while the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that although the US company had filed an improvement plan, an import suspension on frozen berries could remain. Three types of frozen berry products imported and sold by Costco have tested positive for the hepatitis A virus since April. The Kaohsiung health department previously fined Costco NT$300,000 for not providing the sales list of a contaminated batch of Kirkland Signature Three Berry Blend imported from Chile, in contravention of the Communicable Disease Control Act (傳染病防治法). It later