crime

Police officer arrested for stealing wallet handed in at koban

33 Comments

A 35-year-old police officer, stationed at a koban (police box) in front of Tokyo Station, has been arrested on suspicion of theft after he stole a wallet that had been handed in as a lost-and-found item.

According to police, Atsushi Kugaya was on duty at the koban on Saturday afternoon at around 4 p.m. when the wallet was handed in, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Police said Kugaya has admitted that he didn’t report receiving the wallet, which had 40,000 yen in it. Instead, he took it home.

The case came to light later in the day, when the owner of the lost wallet, a man in his 70s, made inquiries at the koban.

On Sunday, the Marunouchi police department issued an apology, expressing regret that a police officer had betrayed the trust of the public.

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33 Comments
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Rozzy, take it to a Koban. One bad police officer doesn't represent an entire nation of officers.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

What am I supposed to do if someone looses a wallet and I happen to pick it?

What most honest people would do. Turn it in.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Was there really a need to explain what a koban was?

Not everyone who reads JT knows Japanese or what a koban is.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Koban are good usually and cops are very helpful. In last 10 years I visited koban 4 times with friends and family, good experience all the time, no bad memories.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Why the thumbs down over the chance to claim a percentage? It's in the law, and the police explain it to you when you turn things in. It's not like I made that up.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

japanese police. They dont have a great record.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I once turned in a Japan Post Bank card, and they told me I had the right to claim a percentage of his balance.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I once turned in a wallet to the train station staff desk in Hachioji station. The wallet had been dropped on the train as the passenger left it. I picked it up, opened it out of curiosity, and saw so much cash (I stopped counting at 150,000 yen) my hands started shaking. Knowing there were cameras all over, I held it up as I walked to the desk. I knew the owner must still be in the station, because his Suica/Passmo cards were in my hand. When he came to claim his wallet, the first thing he did was check the money. But he barely said thanks when I told him I was the one who found it.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

If I had turned it in to the koban, I would have had the right to claim a percentage of that cash as a reward

6 ( +10 / -4 )

Why was he not fired and charged with theft? Theft is theft! It's just the same as if he had stolen the wallet from the old fella himself.

Ever heard of having an investigation first?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

On Sunday, the Marunouchi police department issued an apology, expressing regret that a police officer had betrayed the trust of the public.

Why was he not fired and charged with theft? Theft is theft! It's just the same as if he had stolen the wallet from the old fella himself.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

take it to a Koban. One bad police officer doesn't represent an entire nation of officers

The first time I found a wallet here and went to the koban, I had to fill out papers then get questioned on who I was and why I was in Japan. The whole process took an hour so I was late for work.

Last month I found an envelope of cash on the street and decided just to let it be someone else's problem. The police always make a mountain out of a molehill and I want no part in it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I've had a much better experience of handing in a wallet in a koban than the above ones.

It was a Louis Vuitton wallet containing about 4 man and credit cards etc. The police in the koban were pleased to see me and obligingly wrote out the forms when I said that I could read Japanese but was very slow at writing it. It took about half an hour for the police to painstakingly make an inventory of everything in the wallet and to fill in the forms. I got a phone call from the very grateful owner the next day, who sent me 10,000 yen and some posh biscuits, and since then sometimes get friendly smiles from the police at the koban on the way to work. I agree with Gaijin Desi, koban cops tend to be friendly and helpful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

just lost my teiki case with several credit cards on saturday. reported to the koban on sunday, and got it back an hour later! so don't let one bad cop dissuade anyone from going to a koban for help. probably one of the most honest police force in the world.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Disillusioned,

"Why was he not fired and charged with theft? Theft is theft! I"

What are you talking about? As the headline and first sentence (below) say, he was arrested.

The headline:

"Police officer arrested for stealing wallet handed in at koban"

The first sentence of the article:

"A 35-year-old police officer, stationed at a koban (police box) in front of Tokyo Station, has been arrested on suspicion of theft after he stole a wallet that had been handed in as a lost-and-found item."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

usually one hour and you can't leave. but i will still do it again

Good on you, mate.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@DaDude

Just tell the coppers you've got a train to catch and no time to fill in forms or answer questions.

Worked fine for me....

3 ( +4 / -1 )

as posted before, i experienced 4 times the experience of being interrogated, proof of visa, email, phone address etc. reason to be in japan. usually one hour and you can't leave. but i will still do it again, because if you lose your wallet, it takes months to get new cards etc. don't care about the cash, but the hassle to replace everything means time off work, finding back up stuff...nightmare.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You have three choices:

1) Do nothing.

2) Turn it in at the train station or Koban.

3) Help yourself to the cash, dispose of the wallet anywhere you see fit (but be prepared to face the consequences should you be found out).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bernie O'Mahony

They even know what a "Koban" is in France...

Not everyone who reads JT knows Japanese or what a koban is.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why has he been named if it's only suspicion of theft?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Luca is right. Just make the sign of the "batsu", and you're on your way in seconds

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stupid guy. Everything is documented, and cross-checked so any discrepancy is likely to warrant a full scale investigation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdwToday  05:15 pm JST

"Stupid guy. Everything is documented, and cross-checked so any discrepancy is likely to warrant a full scale investigation."

If you read the article you would see that he was the one who was supposed to document it. But he didn't, so there was no discrepancy that could be found by crosschecking. I do agree with you that he was stupid.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sensei258Aug. 28  08:40 am JST

Was there really a need to explain what a koban was?

Funny story: There used to be a directory sign at Nagoya airport which had Japanese writing and English as well. "トイレ" would have "Restrooms" beside it and so on and so forth. Well the sign pointing to the Koban read "交番" in Japanese, and, you guessed it, "Koban" in English beside it. Sorry, I know that's off topic but I had to share.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Always better to take the wallet or purse to the police-next time, it could be your item! And the cop in this case is an exception- Japan people areoverwhelmingly honest and that includes most cops.......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Last time i took a lost wallet into a police station i was held for questioning and had a warrent check ..i told the cops if never been in trouble with the law in my life "truth" but they wouldn't listen to me and wouldn't let me out for 2 hrs.

Im never walkinginto a police station again to hand lost wallets.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sensei258 - Was there really a need to explain what a koban was?

Great question, because the only people who read this site are Japanese or know the Japanese language.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

What am I supposed to do if someone looses a wallet and I happen to pick it?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Still waiting for the Police/Crime mutual section.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Was there really a need to explain what a koban was?

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

@Rozzy Auma

Do what every non-japanese citizen would do!

"Check if there is money, if there is take the money and leave the wallet where you found it and walk away"

"If there is no money take the boring wallet to the nearest police station"

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Finders keepers

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

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