Petty theft by tourists

I highly doubt anyone is doing this. Never heard of or seen it. Backpacks and umbrellas, sure. Maybe a Nokia from 2002, but not an iPhone 15, which btw is probably needed to pay for paying for the drink anyway. :laughing:

I’m sometimes guilty of that myself - but only when going away for a really short time.

You leave your phone on a seat in a public place to reserve that seat? :astonished:

No, but on a table to reserve said table :sweat_smile:


They definitely do in Kaohsiung, I don’t inspect the phones for year and model

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OK, if it’s like in a cafe, I can see that. But a seat in a station waiting hall for example or an airport, that would put a lot of trust in a lot of random strangers.

Maybe they have really old phones in that city… :face_with_hand_over_mouth:

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I usually get last year’s model, still a big upgrade for me!

I see it daily. I DO it daily. It’s very common.

My phone is basically my reservation tool in food courts. I don’t do it in any other country.

I agree, airports are a risk. All that foreigner riff raff. Which is probably one of the few times someone can legitimately be worried about foreigners in Taiwan. But the amount of security in an airport also kind of makes one comfortable, even with all us non taiwanese theives. Case in point, OP got caught very fast :joy:


Hello everyone. Thank you for all the constructive advice. This will be my last time posting here so that this thread does not get longer than it needs to be, but I will still post this update for future reference if anyone who might need it.

  1. I was able to return to my home country. This is because the time between the incident is shorter than the time needed to process the paperwork for said case.

  2. Upon finding out that I was being called in to the airport, I went as soon as I could. I gave back all the items. I sincerely apologized to the owner. Gave my statement, submitted myself for questioning, offered payment for products. I also offered to pay the fines that the authorities said that it will have to go through due process and they cannot accept the fine. So I gave them my contact details and they will get in touch with me should there be further development in this, which I will then also cooperate with to resolve all future issues.

  3. In case anyone goes through this again like I did, please note that 100% cooperation and a sincere apology wouldn’t hurt. Also, of course, return the stuff. Do not be rude, nor condescending, no excuses. Taiwan authorities were courteous even to me who was the guilty party. Seriously, some commenters here are giving me a harder time than those involved. That being said, let this be a lesson to me, and you. It’s just not worth the trouble.

Have a great life everyone, and thank you again for all the helpful advice.


It would be very interesting should they ask you to return to Taiwan for a court case.
If it was me, I would not return under any circumstances. A sour faced judge, expensive lawyer fees, a fine, possible jail time, deportation and a ban returning to Taiwan.
The holier-than-thou here would like it if people would return for such things though.

17 posts were split to a new topic: Not about legal topics

These seem to be pertinent parts of an earlier post of mine in this thread (I’ve embedded some links):

(Boldface added by me.)

As far as I can tell, Article 337, which does not mention theft, larceny, or stealing, and which does not include a penalty of imprisonment, applies to the act or acts that the original poster said that she did.

But Article 337 does seem to include a maximum fine of NT$15,000, which seemed, according to, to be the equivalent of “about US$463.81, or about 363.15 British Pounds, or about 426.52 Euros,” when I posted in this thread on June 5.


Closing this thread. If @noelle has any updates they can contact me by PM to open up again.