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Woman sentenced after entering Japanese train cabin with key bought at online auction

By Oona McGee, SoraNews24

Japanese trains are famous around the world for their punctuality, cleanliness, and safety, but now their security is being re-examined after it was revealed that a passenger entered a locked crew’s cabin with a duplicate key purchased at an online auction.

The incident occurred at approximately 11:20 p.m. on July 8, when a female passenger unlocked the door to the crew member’s cabin on a train that was running on East Japan Railway’s Joban Line. The self-confessed train enthusiast then played around with things like the windscreen wipers and stole a train ID number sign from the compartment — valued at 2,000 yen — by hiding it in the waistband of her pants after leaving the restricted compartment.

The breach was caught by an onboard security camera, which recorded the incident from inside the cabin, with the footage being used to help identify the perpetrator as an unemployed 22-year-old woman from Tokyo’s Katsushika City. She was later arrested and charged for theft and violating operational laws.

▼ An example of a crew compartment can be seen at the end of the Joban Line train below, located behind the door with the handle.


It was revealed this week that the defendant was sentenced to one year and six months in prison, suspended for three years, by the Matsudo branch of the Chiba District Court.

The prosecution condemned the defendant as “selfish” after she said the reason for her crime was that she liked the 115 number Joban Line train and wanted to have a piece of it for herself.

The brazen act has brought up concerns over the ease with which the defendant was able to attain a key to enter the crew’s compartment of the train, with online commenters expressing fear over what might happen if keys get into the hands of people with more sinister motives.

While the site that sold the duplicate key has not been revealed, online comments have revealed stories of other stolen train items being sold online, including a stolen brake valve handle that went for 80,000 yen. Many suspect it’s the rail staff themselves who are selling it online to earn extra money.

The recent court case opens up the possibility for future civil trials where JR East may consider making claims for damages from stolen goods. However, as of this writing the rail company is yet to make any official statement regarding the case and the serious breach of safety on their train service.

Sources: Nifty News, Niconico News

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese train company issues official apology for “inexcusable” 25-second early departure

-- Osaka earthquake hits city during peak hour, passengers freed after trains suspended

-- Commuter chaos around Tokyo during peak hour after Typhoon Trami hits Japan 【Pics & Video】

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Those keys are very simple skeleton keys anyway how about using something more advanced

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The prosecution condemned the defendant as “selfish” after she said the reason for her crime was that she liked the 115 number Joban Line train and wanted to have a piece of it for herself.

Another nut job. Why didn't she apply for a job with JR? She's very young and can work up to unlocking her fantasy of Joban #115 legally without getting into trouble.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now this is one expensive key she bargain for. I kinda sympathize with her,because i am a hardcore collector myself,but she shouldn't have stole that item. Maybe take a few pictures.

Suspended for three years. Is gonna be a tough 3 years.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the sentence is suspended the woman has not been jailed. The headline is incorrect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The headline has been corrected to reflect that, thank you.


Or maybe she should have realized that possession of a key does not mean one is allowed to go into a restricted (locked by KEY) area. The fact that you express sympathy for her is worrying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Was the train moving at the time? I'm guessing it wasn't due to her being able to play with the controls. Mental health really needs to be addressed in Japan. There are way to many delusional people in this country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why wasn't the perpetrator's name revealed as I usually see in other crime related news?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Where did the woman get the money to pay for the key? From her parents? Or from her savings into which she deposited her paycheck into when she was employed?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

She's obviously not right in the head. How was she able to purchase it online in the first place and have it delivered? Her minders or whoever is responsible for her need to watch her more carefully.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

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