Tainan train station, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

Five Indonesian migrant workers have been arrested in Taiwan for stealing 11 electric-powered bikes in multiple districts across Tainan county in recent weeks.

Most of the people whose bikes were stolen were migrants.

The spate of thefts prompted Tainan City Government’s police department to set up a special task force with officers from the second branch of the city police plus Phok-ai Precinct. The task force stepped up efforts to identify the suspects, who were initially assumed to also be migrants, the China Daily News reported.

The thefts occurred in West Central District, North District and Yongkang Districts, and the stolen units were no more than six months old and valued between NT$20,000 and NT$30,000.

By mid-March, the Tainan station was identified as the key site where the bikes were being stolen with four bikes taken in five days. Officers set up an ambush and an Indonesian man, who was registered as a factory worker at a dyeing and finishing plant, was caught red-handed, they said.

He was later identified as the syndicate ringleader with four other compatriots as accomplices.

It was learned that the five men had been active on social media selling the stolen vehicles as “second-hand” e-bikes at discounted prices.

All the men arrested were referred to the Tainan District Prosecutors Office and they will soon face charges of theft.

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