New fingerprint technology helps Taichung police crack robbery case


TAIPEI, Taiwan — New fingerprint technology has helped police crack a 16-year old robbery case in Taichung, based on a fingerprint sample collected from the crime scene, Taichung police said on Thursday.

A man surnamed Liu was involved in a car accident at about 3 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2000 in the Shalu District of Taichung when the other party involved in the collision got out of his vehicle opened the door to Liu’s car and stole his belongings, including cash, a watch and a mobile phone, according to the police.

An investigation revealed the second car involved in the crash was stolen and police suspected the second man of deliberately crashing the vehicle to rob Liu.

Police collected a fingerprint sample from the wheel of the car but fingerprint recognition technology was unable to correctly match the biometric information from the perpetrator at that time.

According to the police, although they handed the fingerprint sample to the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), the bureau was unable to identify the suspect and the case hit a dead end.

However, the fingerprint sample was sent to the CIB again last year and it was found to match the fingerprint of a 48-year-old man surnamed Lu who is serving a jail sentence in the offshore island county of Penghu.

Taichung police then asked Liu to identify Lu by showing him a photograph which Liu identified as the man who attacked him.

According to Liu, although the accident occurred 16 years ago, he had a very clear memory of Lu because he punched and threatened him.

However, Lu said he could not remember details of the accident because it occurred a long time ago and insisted there was a car accident but no robbery.