Convicted of theft for picking up abandoned OBike

OK, thanks for putting that image in my head. You’ve ruined that song for me!

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Do people really do this? What do they gain?

They go to police and report theft. When you get charged they offer to settle. :grin:

So if you pick up any amount of money. Go straight to police to report you found it.
It is not as common anymore as all Taiwanese know about it.

Isn’t there some rule that allows you to demand 10X the amount in compensation?

It’s often not about the criminal charge, there’s nothing to be gained there.

It’s about any civil suits they can make and try to get a judgment against you. Often the civil suit is much worse than any criminal penalties (for example picking up money may end up with you getting a month of jail that is suspended with a fine of 30,000NT but the civil suit can be over 100,000NT.). I just don’t see how any judge can rule in favor of any plaintiff who basically sets up any innocent person like this.

Problem is people have been charged simply because they were on the way to the police station to turn in the find.

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Jesus, on average I pick up a Yoyo card from the ground once a month. Use the credit in it then ditch it. My take is if people are so dopey as to keep dropping their cards I’ll happily use them.

I’ve also picked up wallets and phones and called the owners to return them.

I wonder if there’s a number to call to report abandoned properties (for example money on the ground) and then take it to the police station so if someone were to try to charge you while you were on your way to the police to turn it in it could be used as a defense?

Reasonable thing to do is try to find the owners and return them, but sometimes just being in possession of the lost item is enough if someone wants to go overzealous in charging someone.

Be careful with Yoyo cards because they can be registered, meaning if you picked it up and used the fund you can be on the hook for theft! Worse for foreigners because that can lead to your ARC canceled even if you won a non indictment from the prosecutor. You could either be charged with theft (more serious) or “takeover” (not as serious, but basically it means you kept a lost item and wouldn’t return it when demanded).

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That is theft.

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I see that it is through (un) civil procedures as opposed to criminal charges (which I had assumed to be state vs. defendant so no avenue for financial gain)

Yeah I guess I’ll stop doing it. I must have some sort of magpie complex.

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That’s way more than 10X the amount, ha. It seems like there’s no clear legal guidelines, just whatever the business is willing to accept not to file charges. 10X seems to be a pretty standard amount though.

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Yeah, the civil cases can be quite ridiculous in Taiwan. And you can be sued for so many random things.

honestly right thing to do if you find a Yoyo card is give it to someone who works at the MRT station. They can track down the owners if the card is registered. It’s not worth keeping and then using the funds because transactions can be traced, and if the owner are malicious they can charge you with theft or takeover. Also theft is a public charge, meaning if the victim isn’t pressing charges the prosecutor can still prosecute. You will get at best 500nt on a yoyo card anyways.

Maybe this is why if you ever lost your wallet or a phone they are turned into the police promptly… maybe overseas they don’t prosecute this much at all.


On a note of trivia that scene was done using a real banjo player with the actor sat in front.
@Taiwan_Luthiers I’m in shock about that fine. It is a really incredibly bad decision by the judge. What if someone couldn’t pay it WTF. I’m pretty angry to hear this. I’m glad you are taking this situation so stoically.:+1:t2:
I know people here who have been convicted of Ketamine possession and given 15 000.NTD fine.
The amount they fined you is just incredible. :rage:

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The reason I was given 6 months is because I was charged under aggravated theft for having used a tool to commit this “crime”. The lightest sentence you can be given is 6 months. Ketamine is a class 3 drug and penalty for using is so small that if it’s your first time it doesn’t even go on your records. I think you get 10 years at most for dealing in the substance.

If you couldn’t pay it either you go to jail or you ask for community service. I was going to, but honestly the lady said it’s harder to get community service and I don’t want to risk them saying no to that. And the community service is basically you going to the prosecutor’s office to do cleaning and other duties… it’s not easy to get to because it’s nowhere near an MRT station. I just figured if I could somehow come up with the cash I’d pay it and figure out how to pay them back later. At least I won’t go to jail if I can’t pay that.

I really don’t know what happens if you don’t pay a pure fine (meaning they didn’t sentence you to jail time that is suspended with a fine), if you end up going to jail or they garnish your wage? It’s messed up but I won’t be picking up junk without asking whoever owns it. There’s enough junkyard near my shop that if I needed some metal on the cheap I can just go there for it.


This is also why I keep finding these things. No other idiot even stops to pick them up so they just lie on the ground till someone official picks them up.

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if it bothers you, call 1999 and they’ll send someone to get it. Better to do that than to risk a criminal charge. Same goes with abandoned car/scooters. Call 1999 and tell them about the abandoned vehicles and they’ll go through whatever administrative procedure to get it removed. Or find out who it’s registered to and ask them if you could have it if you want it.

There’s nothing to get. These are historical “crimes”.

I have double sided tape on my shoes, just walk over it.