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Reports of bike theft case arouse swell of public sympathy

Reports of bike theft case arouse swell of public sympathy

Taipei, Sept. 10 (CNA) Police officers in Chiayi County said they received a flood of inquiries Friday from people offering donations to an impoverished family after local media carried reports of a man stealing a bicycle so that his daughter could get to school on time.
In addition, the vocational high school the teenage girl attends as a freshman has pledged to obtain financial help so she can complete her education, Chen Te-ming, a chief guidance councilor at the school, told the Central News Agency.
Chen, who asked that the school not be identified, said that dozens of callers had been referred by the police and that staff had set up a special fund.
The girl's father, who has epilepsy and is unemployed, was arrested on Sept. 8 in the southern county's Taibao City after the bicycle he stole was spotted by its owner as his daughter was riding, according to local press reports that only identified him as Mr.
Huang.
Huang said he had given the bicycle to his daughter, telling her he bought it secondhand. The girl had lost her own bicycle while visiting her father in a hospital during the summer vacation, reports said, and had been walking five kilometers to the nearest bus stop to get to school.
Media reports cited Lin Yi-hao, chief of the local police, as saying the four-member family lives in a shipping container that had been converted into a house. The only source of income for the family is Huang's wife, who collects and sells recyclable materials.
Lin told the media that after making the arrest and hearing about the family, police officers pitched in and spent NT$3,000 to buy a new bicycle for the girl.
The police, however, could not drop the case. Huang and his daughter may face charges of larceny and possession of stolen property, respectively.
"Although we are sympathetic to their plight, we have to submit the case to the prosecutors office," Lin was quoted as saying.
(By Maia Huang)




Updated : 2021-05-08 13:24 GMT+08:00