New Taipei man wastes son's tuition on claw machine, tries to steal it back

After wasting his son's tuition on claw games, New Taipei man steals money from change machine

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(By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- As the scourge of the claw machine addiction continues to ravage Taiwan, a New Taipei man was arrested last week for stealing coins from a claw machine arcade after he blew his son's tuition on claw crane games.

A 44-year-old man surnamed Cheng (鄭), who lives and works in New Taipei City's Banqiao District, wasted his son's NT$5,000 (US$161) school tuition in a crane game arcade in the area, reported Apple Daily. In an attempt to recoup the lost school fees, Cheng enlisted the help of a 22-year old coworker surnamed Kuo (郭) to rob the change machine at a new claw machine arcade on Nanya West Road, which did not yet have surveillance cameras.

Kuo used a power grinder to break the four padlocks on the machine and stole NT$10,150 worth of NT$10 coins from inside. Banqiao Precinct police were alerted to suspicious activity in the arcade and dispatched officers to investigate.


Coin changer. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)

When police arrived on the scene, they found that the padlocks on the change machine had been damaged and they spotted Cheng and Kuo counting large quantities of coins. Officers then called the owner to the shop to confirm that they were not authorized to access the machine.

When police questioned the men, they confessed that they had stolen the coins from the machine. Officers then notified the owner of the theft and took the two men in for questioning.

During questioning, Cheng admitted that he lost a large sum playing claw machines and had enlisted the help of Kuo to steal change from the arcade. Cheng said Kuo had told him about the lack of surveillance cameras in the new shop because Kuo owned a machine on the premises.


Coins confiscated by police. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)

The men confessed that because the crime was committed during broad daylight, they were anxious about being caught. Before committing the crime, Kuo repeatedly said to Cheng, "Do you really want to rob that place? What if we are caught?" reported Apple Daily.

Cheng reportedly told Kuo, "Don't worry! We'll be finished in 10 minutes." In fact, police arrived on the scene within 10 minutes, and after being arrested, the two suspects were transferred to the New Taipei City District Prosecutor's office on Offenses of Larceny (竊盜罪).


Coins confiscated by police. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)


Padlocks damaged by suspects. (New Taipei City Police Department photo)