Don't be overzealous (Family Mart shoplifting case)


I wonder, if this is true.

At what point will this be considered blackmailing?
What exactly is she claiming the 5000 NT$ for?
She could claim administrative work for reviewing the CCTV. Did she do that, or did she say, “I want 5000 otherwise I call the police”.
If he pays a fine with the prosecution office, will this money actually go to her, or will it stay with the government?


This is pretty normal behavior for store owners and employers that catch someone stealing (although this store owner seems to be taking advantage of it). They ask for a lot more than the value of what was stolen, perhaps 10x using the logic “I may have caught you this time, but I don’t know how many times you stole and got away with it”. Or they negotiate, what the person gets out of this, is not being prosecuted and no criminal record and I guess the police and system don’t mind this as it saves them paper work.

Once the police are involved and moved forward with a prosecution, it’s too late for the owner or employer to stop the process (at least that’s my understanding), they will be asked to reimburse the owner the value of the goods (which it seems the OP did) and then that is supposed to factor into consideration for a lighter sentence later on and yes many people like the OP think paying back the original amount will remove the charges, as he/she discovered, it doesn’t.

As far as I know, the fine of 5000NT$ doesn’t in any way go to the shop owner, all she will have got out of this is he money owed.


maybe you could team up with the spanish guy who got stabbed. while on your own you don’t have much of a story. the fact that you are getting shaken down for an $65 accident while attempted murderers get off scott free… is a :howyoudoin: ing joke. apple daily yo.




There you go with Apple Daily.


We know an improper act occurred. We don’t know the details of the OP’s mental/medical condition. It’s up to the court to decide whether or not the act constitutes a criminal offense in accordance with the law, the evidence, and jurisprudence.

I rarely read criminal cases and so don’t know of any precedents for this sort of case in Taiwan, but I’m sure they’re out there.


I believe the answer is no.


Which law is it?

If it’s Art. 320 of the Criminal Code, the maximum fine is “500 yuan”, meaning $1500 NT. Then there’s also the prison sentence of up to 5 years, but obviously the maximum penalty would not be applied in this case.


I could not find it, but it said that the maximum fine is either NT500 of 500 Yuan but that they could impose a 10x punitive fine if the situation warranted it. Still trying to find the law. The prosector/judges notice with red stamp is a smorgasbord of conflicting laws.


The Criminal Code still uses yuan after all these years, but they have another law hidden away somewhere that says 1 “yuan” equals 3 NT.


California has a very stoopid 3 strikes rule. Which means you can steal something as stupid as a candy cane and if convicted of the same three times you can be sentenced to

Compared to that, best pay the 4000nt . You got caught. Although it was an accident on your part. The fact is that you left the store with an unpaid item and was caught doing so.

4000nt is what? Not much more then 100 dollars US. Small change. Pay it and shut it.


One time in 7-11, I paid for my things but forgot that i had some A4 plastic covers in my hands. I had printed out some things and in my usual way, i have far too much crap to carry. I realized my mistake at the register and went to pay for it, and the clerk told me that I didn’t need to buy a paper protector and gave me a free plastic 7-11 branded cover. 99% of the time, Taiwanese are really nice to me. Not always though. And I’ve learned how to speak up. A lady cut in line at the airport, and I said "沒有排隊嗎?“ Another Taiwanese in line laughed with me because she saw the whole line cutting thing.
When I first moved to Taipei, I got so many traffic fines! Part of the learning curve.
If you want to get even, pay the fine, and bring her a gift, and apologize. She’ll die of embarrassment. And make it a really long apology. :blush:


I will say yes, that will be the way to do it.

One time, in my travels on biz (on the company dime) I was staying at a posh hotel in BKK . I had my room key with me (yes back in the dinosaur times, one actually had these big keys to ones room) while eating dinner. Set it on the table.

Waitress was thinking (I guess) dudes staying here, that means he’s signing for the bill and there goes the tip.

I got surly service. For no reason. I was nice and in no way unfriendly to her.

I thought about complaining. Then I thought. No. I left a substantial tip in cash on the table after I got my bill.

When the waitress came over to get the bill she saw i signed the meal to my room and left a substantial tip ! Tip was more then the meal cost.

It was obvious to her that i knew that she knew that I had gotten very bad service. And yet instead of giving her a hard time I gave her a very undeserved big tip.

The huge embarrashment on her face was plain to me. And I felt it was a way to "teach her a lesson " that she won’t forget soon.


Yeesss. C’mon OP, turn that frown of hers upside down!


I think the problem now is that it’s gone to a criminal complaint which can’t be undone with simply paying the cash, so he may have to go all in to fight the charge now.

He should ask the prosecution if they are willing to drop the charge in favor of a fine or a non criminal alternative charge, otherwise he will have problems getting a job in the future here.


Get a good lawyer. Crim record? Can’t get jobs anymore? Not good.

Having to consider going Gangster ? Tien TAo Men or 4 Seas bros? BAmboo Union?

Not good.


Yup, no way to turn this ship around. It’s gone criminal, so no way to reverse the process. Plus she’s the kind of person who would take this opportunity to ask Nt20,000 just to teach me a lesson if she could.


As for lawyers, you can always ask the Legal Aid Foundation (, but they won’t take on your case if your income is too high or your assets too great. You need documents from the National Taxation Bureau and/or your home country’s equivalent.

You can still make an appointment for a brief consultation without proving your economic status. They don’t always have English speaking lawyers available.

I don’t know which law firm in Taiwan would be best for this sort of case, but you can find lots of them by searching around or asking your country’s representative office.


Well, I’d say that you are learning about people in general.

  1. People can be very opportunistic at times.
  2. I would suspect knowing-whos-who may be involved here.
  3. I’m not too familiar with the judicial system, but it seems like mitigating circumstances aren’t something that I would expect to be considered seriously in any court, especially when you’re a foreigner,
  4. Technically speaking, you did break the law. You took an item from a store and didn’t pay from it. So she does have the right to press charges against you. Given the amount of police reports she files, it sounds like people do steal from her store and she uses it as an opportunity to make money.

On a serious note, back home there are many cases of people getting fines heftily for petty thief, oft-times more than caught-red-handed corrupt politicians. You should’ve paid her earlier demand.


Thats what I was saying. Not that 4000nt is not a lot of money. It is not what I would want to lose either but my wife dropped her iphone the other day and it costs about the same to get the glass replaced at apple (iphone 7). That was a bitch. But to spend that to avoid a court case would seem a good bet.

People must steal from her store so much that she is on a witch hunt. And you did take something from her store without paying, for whatever good or bad reason.


You’re replying to the wrong person. I’m not the one in trouble.