Police in Pingtung County on Thursday apprehended a suspect after a taskforce tracked down a man suspected to have robbed a bank in Taichung on Friday last week.
After reviewing hundreds of surveillance videos, police tracked Ou Pei-hsiang (歐培祥), 44, to a house in Pingtung’s Changjhih Township (長治).
Using nearby buildings, police monitored Ou until he left the house at 8am on Thursday and walked to a nearby breakfast eatery.
A dozen plainclothes officers followed Ou to the eatery, waited until he was off-guard and then apprehended him, subduing him on the ground.
Ou is the chief suspect in the robbery of Taiwan Cooperative Bank’s branch in Taichung’s Shalu District (沙鹿).
He walked into the bank, announced it was a hold-up and fired a warning shot from a pistol before fleeing on a motorcycle with NT$1.21 million (US$39,553).
Bank officials said that nobody was injured in the robbery.
A local resident who was in the bank said the security guards on duty were too afraid to approach the suspect because he had a firearm.
Criminal investigation captain Chen Sheng-wei (陳聖偉) of the Taichung police said that officers took Ou back to the house as they gathered evidence, recovering about NT$210,000 in cash, along with a US-made Cobray M11 machine pistol and 29 bullets.
Ou’s family is from the Taichung area, Chen said, adding that Ou used trains — including the high-speed rail — motorcycles, bicycles and lifts from friends to travel south in a bid to avoid the police pursuit.
During questioning. Ou said that he robbed the bank because he had accumulated debts of more than NT$10 million from stock market losses, failed investments in off-market futures trading and underground gambling rings, according to police.
Over the past six days, Ou had paid off some of the debts, leaving only the NT$210,000 police recovered at the house, they said.
Chen said Ou had a previous criminal record, including for blackmail, as well as involvement in a murder case.
Ou was transported to Taichung, where the case is to be processed, Chen said.
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