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Taipei City Police Department


Taipei Police Partner with Citizens to Bust Foreign Pickpocket Ring

The Datong Precinct of the Taipei City Police Department busted a Vietnamese pickpocket ring at about 8:00 PM on December 13, 2017 and arrested two men, aged 58 and 32, and one woman, aged 45. The three pickpockets travelling all over the greater Taipei area, even in Taoyuan used distraction techniques to steal from victims without being caught. To respond to the pickpocketing, a joint efforts formed by the Datong and Wanhua police precincts, partnering with the local shopkeepers, successfully seized the pickpocket gang.

On the night of December 1, the Jianchen Police Station of the Datong Precinct received four pickpocketing reports filed by three nationals and one Japanese tourist, stating that they their wallets, smartphones and other valuables were stolen while they were window-shopping at the Ninxia night market in Datong District. The Precinct Chief thus set up a special task force and reported the case to Prosecutor Liu of the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office to direct the investigation.

The task force reviewed surveillance footage and discovered three suspects who walked to Ningxia night market after exited the Metro station of Shuanglian. While two people were committing pickpocketing, the third one stood aside acting as a lookout. The suspects then took a bus toward Kuangzhou night market in Wanhua to pickpocket again and got away by taking a taxi back to Guishan District in Taoyuan. Since the pickpocketing happened in different jurisdictions, the task force therefore devised a “Hide in Ambush” strategy; aside from working with the Wanhua Precinct for joint operations, they asked for shopkeepers at all major commercial hubs in Taipei City to report to police upon seeing any suspicious activities.

At about 8:00 PM on December 6, shopkeepers in Wanhua spotted the three suspects and immediately called the Guilin Police Station and the Datong Precinct task force to activate the raid. The police successfully took all the three foreign pickpockets of the ring into custody, demonstrating an outstanding inter-precinct collaboration and police-civil cooperation.

According to the investigation, three members of the pickpocket ring have come to Taiwan up to five times for the past few years. The task force will expand their search in a bid to track down more stolen goods. The three Vietnamese suspects were transferred to the Shilin District Prosecutors’ Office on charges of theft after police questioning.