TAIPEI, Taiwan -- A man armed with a fake gun attempted to rob a bank yesterday in downtown Taipei before fleeing from the scene by taxi and remains at large.
The brazen attempted robbery took place at around 2:30 p.m. at a Mega Bank branch located at No. 91, Hengyang Street in the Bo'ai Special Zone of Taipei City's Zhongzheng District, which is near critical central government buildings and is known for its heightened security.
The suspect entered the bank and pointed the gun at a security guard while yelling, "This is a robbery!"
Moments later, the suspect used the butt of his gun to started assaulting the security guard, causing injury to the guard as he was gashed by the object.
Security tape footage from the bank shows a man of medium build wearing a baseball cap and a maroon-coloured polo shirt. He also covered his face with a surgical face mask. The suspect fled the scene without making off with cash or bank property and stepped into a taxi that drove away from the scene in the direction of Zhonghua Road.
Bank officials later lowered the steel barriers of the building entrance as police investigators arrived to cordon off the area to collect evidence. Bloodstains from the security guard were scattered on the floor tiles.
A police investigator from Zhongzheng First Precinct reported that the suspect had struck the security guard with the gun facsimile after the guard attempted to stop the suspect during the robbery.
The injured 30-year-old security guard, surnamed Liao, was treated and bandaged for light lacerations to his head but refused a trip to the hospital, and instead gave his account of the incident to the police. He later told reporters that after the suspect yelled "robbery," the suspect turned around with a black-coloured object and charged at him, hitting him on the right side of the head with the object.
There were no other reports of injury from customers and staff members at the Mega Bank branch. Witnesses say the suspect was seen lingering suspiciously outside the bank prior to the incident.
Authorities are continuing their search for the suspect and are attempting to obtain his identity. They believe that the man acted alone. Owing to the fact that the suspect fled the scene of the crime straight after the physical scuffle and made no attempt to get the bank's money, authorities are also considering whether the suspect was primarily motivated in injuring the security guard for personal reasons.