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Man arrested in Taichung for vandalism at PXMart, Carrefour 'to get more IG followers'

Retailers refuse to accept apology for video stunt, will sue man and film crew

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Screebgrab of James' vandalism video at retail outlets. The video has been removed after the mounting protest against the act. 

Screebgrab of James' vandalism video at retail outlets. The video has been removed after the mounting protest against the act.  (Taiwan News photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man who goes by "James" on Instagram (IG) was arrested in Taichung City on Monday (Jan. 29) for a video in which he opened bags of cookies and drinks while in different stores and consumed them.

In the video, James gave his comments on the taste of each seemingly unpaid item he consumed.

Before his arrest, outcry mounted following the release of the video. An apology video was posted on his IG page on Monday with him and a person who filmed the video bowing for forgiveness.

James was later arrested and now faces charges including fraud, damaging property, harming someone's reputation, and inciting others to commit an offense, media reported. He admitted to the police that the video was made to get more traffic and followers for his IG account.

Police said eight people took part in the filming and that most of the items opened on camera were paid for beforehand.

James had over 10,000 followers before the release of the video, and reportedly made NT$200,000 (US$6.420) per month selling products via livestream.

The stores featured in his video — PXMart and Carrefour — said they did not accept his apology and out-of-court settlement, saying legal actions would be taken against him.