Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
crime

3 Japanese men in their 80s arrested on suspicion of being a ring of thieves

13 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

On the morning of April 17, a 77-year-old woman was doing her shopping in the town of Yawatahama in Ehime Prefecture. Unfortunately, while she was at the store, someone stole the wallet she had in her shopping bag, which contained roughly 16,000 yen in cash.

It’s always unfortunate when someone is targeted for a crime, but especially so when it’s a senior citizen being taken advantage of, as you’d hope that even criminals would have some sense of decency and consideration towards their elders. In this case, though, perhaps the thieves were able to get around that particular moral concern because they were even older than the septuagenarian victim.

The police have arrested three men who they believe acted as a team to surreptitiously steal the woman’s wallet: Teruo Nomoto, Toshiharu Nomoto, and Takehiro Watanabe. Teruo and Toshiharu, as you might have guessed, are brothers, with big brother Teruo being 87 years old and Toshiharu 83. Both of them are still younger than their acquaintance Watanabe, who is 89.

One of the three was caught in the act of attempting to steal another woman’s wallet on May 4 in Niihama, another town in Ehime on the opposite side of Yawatahama from the prefectural capital of Matsuyama, where the Nomoto brothers live. Investigators believe the three men were acting together and were all present at the time of the April robbery, and the trio has been placed under arrest.

Street crime such as pickpocketing in general is relatively rare in Japan, and even when it does happen the perpetrators’ ages are usually much lower, so Twitter commenters have been especially surprised.

“Bunch of naughty old men.”

“Those guys are pretty spry.”

“Ordinarily I’d be happy to see people their age being so energetic, but…”

“They’re like an old-man version of the Cat’s Eye [anime] thieves.”

“Is this another example of Japan’s aging society?”

All three men say they either “don’t remember” or “don’t recall” stealing the 77-year-old woman’s wallet. In Japan, you’ll often hear the “I don’t remember” trotted out in situations where someone is being charged with committing a crime while intoxicated, and the statement is often met with a lot of incredulity. In this instance, though, it might be a little more plausible given the ages of the accused, but at the same time, not being able to clearly remember that you didn’t rob someone usually isn’t very conducive to creating an aura of innocence, and the police are currently investigating whether or not the men were involved in other thefts that have taken place in the area recently.

Sources: Yahoo! Japan News/Ai TV via JinFNN PrimeEhime Shimbun, Twitter

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Family of four arrested for six-month spate of burglaries in Saitama Prefecture

-- Man found innocent of molesting charges by claiming he was pickpocketing

-- “But she looked 13!” is no excuse in the eyes of the Japanese law, 40-something man learns

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

13 Comments
Login to comment

Oyagi-gumi???....

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Oyagi-gumi???....

My thoughts, exactly.

All three men say they either “don’t remember” or “don’t recall” stealing the 77-year-old woman’s wallet. In Japan, you’ll often hear the “I don’t remember” trotted out in situations where someone is being charged with committing a crime while intoxicated, and the statement is often met with a lot of incredulity. 

Perfect; defense for this lot. I'm not sure whether to feel sorry for this lot because I'm sure they were the best of friends who were down on their luck and a part of the unfortunate aging society without much of a retirement nest, or to feel terrible for them because they should know better, given their age. So much for age and wisdom.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Teruo Nomoto, Toshiharu Nomoto, and Takehiro Watanabe. Teruo and Toshiharu, as you might have guessed, are brothers, with big brother Teruo being 87 years old and Toshiharu 83. 

Sounds like gutter trash, now in their 80’s. And they probably have been punks since they were kids.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

All three men say they either “don’t remember” or “don’t recall” stealing the 77-year-old woman’s wallet. In Japan, you’ll often hear the “I don’t remember” trotted out in situations where someone is being charged with committing a crime while intoxicated, and the statement is often met with a lot of incredulity. In this instance, though, it might be a little more plausible given the ages of the accused, but at the same time, not being able to clearly remember that you didn’t rob someone usually isn’t very conducive to creating an aura of innocence, and the police are currently investigating whether or not the men were involved in other thefts that have taken place in the area recently.

maybe we can have a comedy crime section here? this is just TOO FUNNY!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I read an article that most shoplifters are over 65 and store detectives keep a close eye on them.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Three pathetic old losers robbìng a fellow pensioner - a woman no less.

Lets see how tough they are in The Big House.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why those nutty jijis!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Now they have a place to stay for free with free food , I think they are very smart .

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

While what they did was was not okay, I'm kinda impressed that at their advanced age they managed to pull off a robbery. What, did their local retirement center run out of bingo events to keep them occupied?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Survival of the fittest, or you only are helped if you help yourself. That’s all to it to say. They were hungry kids during the war, built up the country, became pensioners, and all the time that almost nothing in the purse, now corona, inflation, and when begging on knees for some money at a welfare center, again nothing or a significant amount. Of course, everyone would lose temper and good behavior one day sooner or later. Maybe we all are forced to do such bad things too, when high aged. Chances are quite high.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The Over the Hill gang, Japanese edition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites