TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — New Taipei's notorious "Pizza Bandit" was arrested on Tuesday (June 1) for robbing a pizza parlor, 20 years after he had gone on a robbery spree against pizza shops across the city.
At 9:30 a.m. on Monday (May 31), a man brandished a knife at the female manager of a Dominoes Pizza shop on Zhongzheng Road in New Taipei City's Xindian District and made her hand over NT$250,000 from the store's safe, reported TVBS. The 54-year-old suspect surnamed Chou (仇) carefully wiped off his fingerprints in the store and on its doorknob before fleeing to Taipei City by taxi.
While on the run, Chou changed his clothing three times in an attempt to confuse the police. However, the authorities were able to identify the taxi in surveillance camera footage and track his movements.
Taxi Chou was seen riding in. (Taipei City Police Department photo)
On Tuesday afternoon, police spotted Chou as he went shopping in the Q Square Mall in Taipei's Datong District. Police moved in and placed him under arrest, less than 30 hours after he allegedly committed the robbery.
When police searched Chou, they found that he only had NT$42,500 left from the stolen money.
Searching through his records, police discovered that he was the same criminal who had gained notoriety over 20 years ago for robbing at least 10 pizzerias in the Greater Taipei area from 1998 to 2000. While reviewing surveillance camera footage, police observed that he first carefully surveyed the area outside the eatery and pretended to purchase a pizza to scout out the interior.
Chou spotted outside a claw machine arcade minutes before the robbery. (Taipei City Police Department photo)
He then deliberately left his wallet behind and used its retrieval as an excuse for the shop manager to let him in before opening hours. Once inside, he pulled out the knife and shouted "this is a robbery!" just as he had done 20 years ago.
Chou was released from prison over 10 years ago and had apparently not committed any crimes until now. He told police that with the pandemic raging in Taiwan, he had lost his job and had decided to go back to his old ways to make money, reported SET News.
After questioning Chou, police transferred him to the prosecutor's office to be investigated for robbery (強盜罪) and threatening and endangering public safety (恐嚇危害安全罪).