TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — An Italian man was arrested on Sunday (Aug. 23), two days after allegedly attempting to rob a convenience store in New Taipei City.
At around 9 a.m. on Friday (Aug. 21), a foreign national in his 30s identified with the Chinese surname Chu (朱) was seen walking into a Hi-Life at the corner of Yumin Road and Xueshi Road in New Taipei City's Tucheng District wearing a motorcycle helmet. When the 21-year-old female clerk asked him what he wanted to buy, he suddenly pulled out a pair of scissors, reported SET News.
When a male 22-year-old clerk witnessed the incident, he rushed over and wrestled the scissors out of Chu's hand. Chu immediately fled the scene, leaving behind the scissors and a red-and-white plastic bag.
CCTV footage of suspect preparing to enter convenience store. (New Taipei Police image)
When police were notified about the attempted robbery, they sent a forensic team to collect evidence. The shop clerks told police that the man had not uttered a word while brandishing the scissors, and they suspected that he was mute.
Reviewing surveillance footage around the area, police spotted Chu wearing a gray T-shirt and black shorts outside the convenience store. Following his failed attempt to rob the Hi-Life, Chu discarded his helmet and donned a dark jacket in an attempt to "disguise" himself.
Apparently familiar with the area, Chu was seen trying to slip down narrow alleys to throw police off his trail. However, his every movement was recorded by the city's ubiquitous surveillance cameras.
Scissors used in attempted robbery. (New Taipei Police photo)
After expanding their search of surveillance footage and questioning his friends, police were able to track Chu to a Hilton Hotel in Banqiao District, where he was staying with his ex-wife, reported ETtoday. At 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, police raided the hotel room and arrested him at the scene.
During questioning, Chu confessed to trying to rob the store. He said he had resorted to robbery because he was divorced from his Taiwanese wife, unable to find work, and low on money.
Chu told police that he did not speak during the incident because despite living in Taiwan for five years, he is unable to communicate in Mandarin. After completing their questioning, police transferred Chu to the New Taipei City District Prosecutor's Office to be investigated for attempted robbery (強盜未遂罪).
CCTV footage of suspect fleeing scene. (New Taipei Police image)
Suspect's jacket and helmet seized by police. (New Taipei Police photo)