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Kaoshiung Police investigating theft case recover stash of rare nautical objects

古董船藝品店竊案偵破 起出珍貴文物

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

Kaohsiung Lingya District Police Station last Wednesday announced it had solved the case of a theft of rare objects from a local shop specializing in nautical antiques and curio. The police say they have arrested a male surnamed Huang in connection with the case.


According to the police, 23-year-old Huang, an unemployed tattoo artist with a penchant for vintage objects, some time ago visited the nautical antiques and curio shop, whose owner is also surnamed Huang. On seeing the rare objects on display in the shop, the suspect, unable to afford them, decided to risk stealing them.


After the theft was reported to the police on Oct. 5, CCTV footage from the shop was reviewed by investigators who identified Huang as a prime suspect in the case. Following up the lead, investigators on Tuesday searched the suspect’s living quarters in Kaohsiung City’s Sanmin District. Afterwards, Huang confessed to the crime and took police officers to his grandmother’s residence in the city’s Cishan District to recover the stolen objects.


On arriving at the house, the police were taken aback by the dazzling array of booty that they discovered. Among the rare objects found at the house included a 19th century telescope from a Dutch passenger ship, World War II era Nazi insignia, an American newspaper from 1861, a pencil sharpener dating from 1906, a medical diathermy machine from the Qing Dynasty and an imitation US military copper diving helmet weighing 10kg and other rare objects, worth approximately NT$1 million.


The majority of the items sold in shopkeeper Huang’s store were salvaged from ships that were sent for breaking up and come from countries all over the world. Many are steeped in historical significance and are extremely valuable. Huang regularly receives invitations from a number of different countries to display the objects in his collection.


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