A 43-year-old woman exited a supermarket in Higashiura, Aichi Prefecture, on June 11, and drove away in her car. However, she didn’t get far before noticing that her driver’s side rear tire had gone completely flat.
While she was examining the flat tire, another car drove up. The driver, 32-year-old Yoshito Harada, offered to replace her damaged tire. While a kind gesture from an apparently total stranger, the woman was struck with a sudden case of déjà vu. This is because the exact same thing had happened to her in June of the previous year.
Unsettled by the coincidence, she decided to report the encounter to the police who investigated the matter and found through surveillance camera footage that Harada had slashed her tire in the parking lot of the supermarket. He then followed her car until it pulled over so that he could be the first on the scene to offer help.
According to police, Harada admitted to the crime, saying that he did it in order to meet the woman.
As the news of this strange attempt at courtship came out some netizens were reminded of an eerily similar case in 2013. The suspect then was also a man named Yoshito Harada who was 25 at the time and hailed from the same city as this Harada.
Assuming this isn’t a remarkable coincidence, this man was picked up seven years earlier for the exact same misdeed. In fact, during that arrest Harada’s lawyer remarked that he had probably done it about 1,000 times.
Harada avoided prison by compensating the few victims who came forward 30,000 yen each. He also agreed to certain monitoring measures such as a GPS tracker that his parents could use to make sure he was staying out of trouble.
It didn’t seem to work, however, and he was picked up again in 2016 after a victim told an acquaintance who also had her tire “fixed” by a 28-year-old man in the same way in 2015. This was the exact same situation that led to his 2013 arrest.
Legality aside, after about a decade of criminal mischief and the countless money spent on spare tires, sealant, and restitution, Harada still wasn’t able to hit it off with a single woman. In other words, his four-digit sample size was still to small to gauge the abysmal success rate of landing a date by slashing someone’s tires.
He was so prolific that over the years he had even targeted the same woman twice and, on at least two occasions, women who knew each other. Netizens weren’t exactly angry about the recidivist, just… disappointed.
“He really has no capacity to learn from his mistakes.”
“I wonder if his parole expired.”
“That’s like some James Bond stuff.”
“He must be really good at changing tires.”
“That’s just bizarre.”
“Maybe that was his endgame. He just has a fetish for women thanking him.”
“Maybe he should steal women’s bike seats and then when they are stuck he can swing by and offer them a new one.”
“I wonder if even he forgot that he hit the same woman twice.”
“Just talking to women normally would have been much cheaper, more effective, legal… does any of this really need to be said?”
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