Thirty years old and married, Yang Cheng-wen (楊政文) was the manager of a 7-11 convenience store on Songren Road in Taipei City.
A bit of a party animal, Yang had amassed debts of over $80,000 TWD ($2700 TWD) with frequent visits to
brothels hostess bars and nightclubs.
Rather than simply stop living a lifestyle his pay grade couldn’t support, in an effort to settle his debts Yang came up with a devious plan.
Armed with the “insider” knowledge that ‘ all stores carry insurance and would receive a compensation payout in case of a robbery‘, Yang and four of his mates hatched a cunning plan to rob a neighbouring 7-11 store, managed by one of Yang’s personal friends.
So the story goes, last Friday Yang entered the Hulin Street 7-11 and approached the manager, surnamed Kung (龔), for a chat.
This action by Yang was the predetermined signal for his mates, Kuo (a friend), Chen (a current 7-11 employee, Lee (a former 7-11 employee) and another Chen (some random teenager), to wait for Kung to exit the store before robbing her.
Carrying the store’s take and on her way to make a bank deposit, the Lee and Kuo succesfully executed the plan and made away on a scooter with $600,000 TWD ($20,200 USD).
Not wanting to look in on the heist, Yang yelled “I’ll chase after them!” before leaving the scene of the crime on his own scooter.
After disappearing in pursuit for what he believed to be a credible amount of time, Yang returned to the Hulin St 7-11 and upon police arriving at the scene, told them “I gave them a good chase, but I lost them’.
As part of their investigations, police reviewed the CCTV footage of the surrounding area – and that’s where things started to fall apart.
CCTV footage revealed that just two blocks away from the Hunlin Street store, Yang met up with the four robbers and after giving eachother celebratory highfives, then returned to the store.
Further analysis of CCTV footage at Yang’s Songren Road 7-11 revealed the five of them later meeting up at the store, making their way to the second floor of the building and then distributing the loot amongst themselves.
Having seemingly learnt nothing from the experience of racking $80,000 in debt, the five of them hit up a local
brothel hostess bar and blew through $58,000 TWD ($1600 USD).
By Tuesday police figured they had obtained enough evidence to close in and arrested the five friends. Since the arrests though, police have only managed to recover $290,000 TWD.
Amazingly the above escapade was actually a revised plan, with Yang originally proposing the five rob his own store.
Yang’s friends however, Lee and Kuo, apparently didn’t like the idea and talked him out of it. I’d say they probably thought it was a stupid idea but then these are the same guys who went ahead with the above heist so who knows.
In response to the robbery, 7-11 Taiwan ‘vowed to strengthen its monitoring and management of cash storage and deposit procedures’.
Good luck trying to protect yourselves against morons guys…
7-11 pay their basic staff just over $100 TWD ($3.35 USD) an hour and whilst I’ve got no idea what a manager makes there, I imagine it isn’t all that much more.
Heads up 7-11 Taiwan, you get what you pay for.