crime

Woman reported to police for not looking right in a suit; turns out she’s a crook

24 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

“Taxi driver” is one of those jobs that can involve a broad range of activities. Obviously driving the taxi is the main one, but they might also find themselves filling the role of travel guide if an out-of-town tourist has some questions about the community, or even just lending a friendly or sympathetic ear when a passenger is feeling chatty.

And then there’s the driver of a cab in Hyogo Prefecture, who suddenly became a crime fighter this week. Last Tuesday morning, the driver picked up a passenger in the town of Ako, a 27-year-old woman with brown hair wearing a suit. She asked him to take her to a private residence elsewhere in the city, and he did. After he dropped her off, though, instead of going cruising for his next fare, the taxi driver called the police and told them “I gave a ride to a young woman with brown hair, but she didn’t look right in the suit. I think she might be involved in some kind of scam.”

The jump from “wearing a suit” to “pulling a scam” might seem strange, but the most common frauds in Japan involve criminals posing as respectable businesspeople to cheat gullible or confused senior citizens out of their money, and so the police decided to look into the matter. Before an officer could arrive on scene the young woman had already left in a different cab, but investigators were able to contact the second driver and find out where he’d taken her. From there, it was only a short time until they located the woman, having changed into a different outfit but with the suit she’d been wearing during the cab ride still in her possession. Also in her possession: the ATM card of an 88-year-old woman who lives in the home the first cab driver had taken her to.

Upon questioning, the younger woman admitted that she’d called the older woman on the phone earlier that morning, telling her a made-up story about a medical care insurance refund that she was eligible for. Posing as an intermediary agent handling the transaction, she convinced the elderly woman to give her her ATM card and tell her the PIN, ostensibly with the lie that she needed them to transfer the refund into the victim’s bank account.

Luckily, the police were able to take the woman into custody before she could withdraw funds with the ill-gotten card and PIN. She’s now been arrested for attempted fraud and has admitted to the charges, though investigators believe she is likely a runner for a larger operation.

Getting back to the fashion-critiquing cabbie who called the police, this isn’t the first, or even the second, time a crime in Japan has been prevented because someone didn’t look good in a suit. Strange as it may seem, there’s actually some plausible logic behind the deductions. If a suit doesn’t look right on someone, that generally means they don’t look comfortable in it. Maybe it’s ill-fitting, or maybe they’re unusually fidgety and tugging at the shoulder or sleeves. But in general, white-collar wear-a-suit jobs in Japan require you to wear one every day, so most people actually working in such professions get used to them pretty quickly.

But what about younger workers who haven’t been in their position very long? Don’t they still feel, and look, kind of awkward wearing a suit? Maybe, but that’s where the importance Japanese work culture places on experience, and senpai/kohai (senior/junior) relationships come into play. If an employee is still inexperienced enough that they’re not used to wearing a suit (i.e. they don’t look comfortable/”right” in one), it’s unlikely that they’re getting sent out to visit clients in their homes, at least not by themselves. If they are making house calls, they’re probably tagging along with a more experienced coworker for a watch-and-learn experience, not handling customer interactions solo.

So odds are when these criminals are getting caught for not looking good in a suit, it’s not because the people reporting them don’t like the fabric or number of buttons, but because they’re dressed like businesspeople without seeming used to an intrinsic part of Japanese business, tipping careful observers off that they might be posing as someone they’re not, and also up to no good.

Source: Kobe Shimbun Next via Hachima Kiko

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

24 Comments
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Half of my coworkers must be crooks then.

20 ( +26 / -6 )

My favourite look is the old men you sometimes see wearing jackets that would have better fitted the Hulk: you know, where they are so huge only their fingernails peek out from under the cuffs.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

I am just glad they caught her before she had escape with the money. Is wrong to steal from old people. You should treat them with care,because one day you will also get old and you would want the younger generation to treat you with care.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

HiroToday  07:09 am JST

Is wrong to steal from old people.

Just old people, then. Righto.

Japanese business ethics 101; Stealing? What stealing?

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

This story had a good ending, but I wonder how many times someone with a perfectly legal reason to look bad on a suit have had to be questioned by the police.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

I wonder how many times someone with a perfectly legal reason to look bad on a suit have had to be questioned by the police.

They way they report this story makes it sound like it was just the suit, when that was probably just one of several red flags the driver picked up on. Put together, he sensed something was off enough to call the police. She might have been a "yankee" looking girl, not the sort to work for a company that puts people in suits and sends them to homes. Her conversation, manner of speech, the home she went to... all of these were probably noticed as not quite matching up. But, "Woman reported to police for not looking right in a suit" makes a better headline.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Great catch

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Yes, good work by an astute driver.

But will this lead to a flurry of calls by taxi drivers to the point of nuisance?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Well done Columbo! Hope she didn’t tip him

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This story had a good ending, but I wonder how many times someone with a perfectly legal reason to look bad on a suit have had to be questioned by the police.

I’ve never been harassed by police, but a black friend of mine gets stopped a lot for ID checks. He wears a suit.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

commanteerToday 08:29 am JST

I wonder how many times someone with a perfectly legal reason to look bad on a suit have had to be questioned by the police.

They way they report this story makes it sound like it was just the suit, when that was probably just one of several red flags the driver picked up on. Put together, he sensed something was off enough to call the police. She might have been a "yankee" looking girl, not the sort to work for a company that puts people in suits and sends them to homes. Her conversation, manner of speech, the home she went to... all of these were probably noticed as not quite matching up. But, "Woman reported to police for not looking right in a suit" makes a better headline.

Well said! I was thinking the same thing. Especially being that the taxi driver interacts with thousands of people over the years, his gut feeling told him something was wrong.

As for people being questioned by police for looking bad in a suit, I doubt that happens much at all with actual police. Of course, the fashion police would be a different story.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

0rei0Today 07:26 am JST

HiroToday  07:09 am JST

Is wrong to steal from old people.

Just old people, then. Righto.

No, it is wrong to steal from anyone. But older people are more vulnerable, as are disabled people and so on. Older people walking on the sidewalk, for example, probably can't put up much of a fight if they are being robbed. Younger, stronger people are different. Have you ever heard of a 6 foot, 6 inch weight lifter being robbed on the street in a hand to hand fight? Probably not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Woman reported to police for not looking right in a suit; turns out she’s a crook

Good that they caught her, but a bit distressing that the police act on such vague information. "Not looking right?" I am not sure I ever look right.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I don’t wear a suit and never have been stopped in Japan...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Amazing!

Taxi drivers from other countries should try do the same.

I remember when watching a variety show, another taxi driver found out his passenger was kidnapping a girl who was in a box left in the luggage trunk, in the back of the taxi. The drive suspected it, and drove to a koban(police station).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Half of my coworkers must be crooks then.

Only half?

Good that they caught her, but a bit distressing that the police act on such vague information. "Not looking right?" I am not sure I ever look right.

Are you actually distressed? Would you rather that the police hadn't followed up based on what the taxi driver said? I don't think that this is something that taxi drivers do regularly - the taxi driver's concern was 100% accurate and was based on sufficient circumstantial evidence that a crime was about to occur.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Never trust a suit.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A special rung in hell is reserved for the scum who take advantage of seniors like this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well done that taxi driver!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kudos to the Cab Driver... sometimes you do encounter people who just.... dont seem right. Subtle things about them... such as their edginess.... one day you may encounter someone would could potentially be a Suicide Bomber, and have the same experience, and rightly walk away whilst at the same time calling the authorities. Be alert, stay safe, inform. Better Safe than Sorry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bravo to the taxi driver! Great job for going above and beyond :-)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ah so

Are you actually distressed? Would you rather that the police hadn't followed up based on what the taxi driver said? 

Of course I am happy they caught this scammer. But this is a question of principle. Would you like to be stopped by the cops because someone thought you "do not look right"? I think a lot of the commentators here who cheer for this are not thinking it through.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Funnily enough, the most crooked in this country all wear suits...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Something about putting on a suit in Japan ! many lowlife scammers i see at night upgrade by wearing these suits, makes me nervous sometimes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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