Alleged robber in case connected to popular streamer takes own life

02/21/2022 10:23 PM
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Yang
Yang's suspected partner surnamed Lee is arrested by police. Photo courtesy of the Taichung police

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) One of the suspects in a robbery at the home of a relative of a popular live-streamer in Taiwan has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound while the other has been arrested, Changhua County police said Monday.

Two armed robbers were reported to have broken into the home of the uncle of live-streaming shopping personality "DiuDiu Mei (丟丟妹)" in the county's Shengang Township on Feb. 4, leaving with NT$300,000 (US$10,785.86) in cash.

At a press conference Monday, Hsu Chung-yen (許忠彥), the head of Changhua's Criminal Investigation Corps, said that although the robbers wore balaclavas and removed their vehicle's license plates, the police were able to track them using surveillance cameras.

A man, identified only by his surname Yang (楊), was targeted as the primary suspect in the robbery, and police eventually located his whereabouts and were preparing to apprehend him on Saturday, according to Hsu.

Photo courtesy of the Taichung police
Photo courtesy of the Taichung police

As officers readied to raid the motel where he was staying in Yunlin County, however, its garage door opened and a gunshot rang out from a vehicle inside.

Police fired their weapons twice before surrounding the vehicle and finding Yang slumped over in the driver's seat with a gunshot wound to his head.

There was no indication from police if the bullet that apparently killed Yang matched his gun or that of the police, but they said it was quite likely Yang shot himself.

Yang was rushed to Yunlin Christian Hospital before being transferred to Changhua Christian Hospital early Sunday where he succumbed to his injury Monday morning.

Yang's suspected partner, surnamed Lee (李), was arrested by police in Taichung on Sunday.

When questioned, Lee denied being involved in the robbery, claiming that he was sitting in the car when the crime happened and had not known Yang very long, according to police.

Popular live-streamer DiuDiu Mei. Image taken from facebook.com/diudiu333
Popular live-streamer DiuDiu Mei. Image taken from facebook.com/diudiu333

As part of their case, the police said they have evidence that includes balaclavas and clothing allegedly used in the robbery, one modified shotgun and 12 shells, a pistol and 92 bullets, as well as NT$130,000 of the stolen money, recovered during the investigation.

Among the questions still being investigated, police said, are why the residence of the uncle of the popular streamer was targeted, how the suspects acquired firearms, how they knew there was a large sum of cash on the premises and if the robbery involved an inside informant.

Although the robbery occurred on Feb. 4, DiuDiu Mei's father told reporters on Feb. 18 that they only decided to report the case on Feb. 11 out of concern for the family's safety.

He said the reason his brother had such a large sum of cash on hand was because he received a payment from a business partner that evening, while denying rumors that the family owns a gambling business.

(By Hsiao Po-yang and James Lo)

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