Taipei, May 24 (CNA) Airport police arrested a man at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Thursday in connection with a series of robberies of armored bank cars over a period of 15 years.
The suspect, surnamed Wang, was preparing to leave for Beijing in the morning when he was flagged by an immigration officer as the notorious "raincoat robber," who is known for wearing a raincoat during the robbery of armored cars transporting bank cash.
The suspect was handed over to the airport's aviation police and was later transferred to the Taipei City Police Department for interrogation. As of press time, he was still in detention at the department.
The "raincoat robber" allegedly committed at least six armored car robberies in Taipei, the latest one being in March this year on Nanjing East Road. The robber allegedly shot an armored car guard in the leg and made off with NT$12.5 million (US$422,432) in cash.
After the robbery, police reviewed the surveillance camera footage of the area and compiled a list of several suspects. The immigration bureau was given the list and asked to inform the police if any of the suspects showed up at the airport.
To date, police have been unable to locate the stolen cash and have not recovered any fingerprint evidence.
Among the nine armored car robberies that were reported in Taipei over the past 15 years, six were carried out on a rainy day by a robber dressed in a raincoat, police said. Seven of the 15 cases remain unsolved.
Five of the most recent cases occurred near Nanjing East Road where there are many banking institutions, police said.
The robber is very familiar with Zhongshan and Songshan districts, and is believed to have a background in the special forces, according to police. They said the raincoat robber holds his gun in a particular way that indicates special training, and he is a crack shot.
Wang, 48, lives in eastern Taipei close to the scene of the most recent robbery. As of press time, police were still searching his home.
(By Johnson Sun, Bien Chen-feng and Ann Chen)