Italian man arrested, charged for attempted robbery of convenience store in New Taipei City

An Italian national was arrested in Banqiao District yesterday, Sunday, August 23, after an investigation into an attempted robbery in Tucheng District, Friday.

At around 9:30 pm, August 21, a man wearing a motorcycle helmet, a surgical mask, and a black jacket, walked into a convenience store on on Yumin Road in Tucheng District. The man stood in front of the cash register and remained silent.

When the 20-year-old female clerk asked the man what he wanted, he took out a pair of scissors, and threatened her with it, still not speaking a word.

A male clerk who was stocking shelves at the time, noticed what was happening and came to the female clerk’s assistance, grabbing the man’s arm.

After a brief struggle, the man dropped the scissors and fled from the shop.

Media reports after the incident speculated that the suspect may have been mute, as he did not speak a word during the incident. The clerks were confused about what the man’s intentions were, as he did not speak to them.

Police investigators followed the suspect’s movements on street camera footage, and found that he had run away from the convenience store and entered a building further down Yuming Road. The helmet and jacket worn by the suspect were found on the roof of the residential building.

At around 11:30 am on Sunday morning, police arrested a man on Xianmin Boulevard in Banqiao District.

According to police, the suspect is a 30-year-old Italian national who has lived in Taiwan for 5 years.

Identified in media reports only by Chinese surname Zhu (朱), the man had recently divorced his Taiwanese wife, and was unable to find a job.

Zhu confessed that he had committed the crime because of his lack of money. Zhu explained that he had remained mute for the duration of his attempt to rob the convenience store because he cannot speak Chinese.

Police handed Zhu over to the District Prosecutor’s Office where he was charged with the crime of attempted robbery.

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