Vietnamese group posing as tourists arrested for shoplifting all around Taiwan

A total of 734 items estimated at NT$1 million was recovered

(Wikimedia Commons photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A group of Vietnamese tourists were arrested on grounds of theft and shoplifting when it came to the attention of city officials that places the group had visited had lodged complaints about lost or missing goods.

On Jan. 15, a store in Taipei Main Station, realized that 107 item were missing upon checking their inventory, and lodged a complaint at the police station. After investigation and scrutiny of video footage captured by the store's CCTV camera, the officials came to the conclusion that a group of Vietnamese tourists who had visited the store on Jan. 12 were the culprits.

Upon further investigation of the group and their tour details it came to light that they had also visited a store in Ximending on the Jan. 13, where another report of 295 missing items were reported, followed by 332 items stolen from a store the group visited in Taichung.

The Taipei police then tracked them down with help from a travel agency on Nanging East Road. They were arrested and taken into custody, reports TaiwanEnglishNews.

The group had reportedly become aware that they were being sought by police. They hoped to flee the country by changing their tickets and flying back ahead of schedule.

The police then searched their hotel rooms for more details, and uncovered 14 suitcases full of stolen products with an estimated value of NT$1 million.

According to the police the group of 3 women and 1 man, would operate simultaneously, when the women would be pretending to shop inside the store, the man, carrying a bag with aluminium foil to evade detection, would go in the store with empty bag but would go out with the bag full of stolen items before coming back for more.

The group is currently under arrest and under federal investigation.