Keeping someone else's possession you find on the MRT is a criminal offense, warns the Taipei Metro, as the theft of lost items has become the most common offense in the MRT station, followed by sexual harassment and bodily harm. The crime is punishable by up to NT$15,000 in fines.
A passenger pulled her luggage while exiting the train, without realizing she had left a bag under the seat. Someone nearby later picked it up and kept it to himself. A woman in black is also filmed while taking a purse that was left on a station bench. Statistics show that these people are not isolated incidents; that's why forgetful passengers aren't always lucky enough to get their lost items back.
Citizen:” I left my purse on the MRT train once. I didn't realize it until 10-plus stops later, so I didn't know which stop I left it at.”
Citizen:” I haven't heard of this happening, but I've seen it happen with someone's umbrella.”
When commuters lose something on the MRT, they often ask station staff for help or visit the MRT lost and found. According to Taipei's rapid transit police, however, many people keep, rather than turn in, the property they find. This offense tops the rapid transit police's crime ranking.
Keeping lost property can qualify as misappropriation, which is a criminal case and punishable by a fine of up to NT$15,000.
Yeh Chin-chou, Crime Prevention Sec. Head, Rapid Transit Div., Taipei City Police Dept.:” Apart from keeping lost the property, there's sexual harassment, offenses against privacy, theft, and bodily harm. These are the top five offenses we see.”
There were 285 cases of lost property theft in the last three years, accounting for 34.1 percent of rapid transit police cases. Also making the top five were sexual harassment with over 100 cases, bodily harm with 96 cases, and other offenses against privacy and theft.