Toy money (left), and real money (right); a color copier can compensate for the size difference
crime

Aichi man arrested for stealing ¥70,000 in toy money left in safe as 'bait'

21 Comments

Over the years, we’ve reported on numerous cases involving criminals passing off toy money as the real thing. That’s because a unique feature of Japan is that many of its stores offer novelty cash that very closely resembles the real thing.

These incidents happen frequently enough that it makes one wonder why they’re allowed to be sold in the first place. Perhaps it’s because these phony bills not only bring enjoyment to fiscal-minded children, but can actually be used to prevent crime even more effectively than they can to commit them.

For example, on Sept 29, Aichi Prefectural Police arrested 42-year-old Asahi Shimizu for the burglary of a 78-year-old woman’s home. He currently is accused of stealing 70,000 yen from her safe – all of it fake.

It all started last June when the woman awoke to find that 220,000 yen in real cash had been stolen from the safe in her Nishio City home. A lot of people in her situation would be forgiven for falling into a state of despair and fear from someone invading their home and taking a sizable chunk of cash, but that wasn’t the case with this woman.

Rather than just lament her loss, she began to craft a plan to catch the burglar if he ever tried to pull something with her again. First, she installed a hidden camera pointing directly in front of the safe. Then, she took a bank envelope and stuffed it with seven toy 10,000 yen bills. After that, she just sat back and waited for the thief to do his thing.

It didn’t take long either. The following month, the woman’s funny money was gone and the surveillance footage revealed the culprit. The video shows the suspect picking up the envelope and inspecting its contents. However, it must have been too dark for him to notice that “TOY BANK” was written across each bill.

▼ A news report showing the surveillance footage

Although his face was concealed by a long cloth, his distinctive beer gut and ill-fitting clothes must have allowed police to track him using street cameras. Eventually, they were able to identify the suspect and make the arrest a few months later.

Shimizu currently denies the charges, but police are investigating to find evidence linking him to the June theft of actual money.

With Japan’s increasingly aged population, many scammers and thieves view the elderly as easy pickings, but it’s worth noting that not everyone gets slower with age. Some people just get more unflinching.

Source: FNN

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

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© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

21 Comments
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The video shows the suspect picking up the envelope and inspecting its contents. However, it must have been too dark for him to notice that “TOY BANK” was written across each bill.

Honestly, you have to be drowned in adrenaline to not notice such a thing or in the very least a currency of a different size, smell and texture. But hey, it worked. I'm gonna use this at my home, thanks for the idea.

Although his face was concealed by a long cloth, his distinctive beer gut and ill-fitting clothes must have allowed police to track him using street cameras. Eventually, they were able to identify the suspect and make the arrest a few months later.

Gotta give it a hand to J-police, they can manage to find out people even in these situations.

Awesome article JT, this made my day!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

The report didn't mention how the man was able to open the safe. She must have left it unlocked?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Golf clap. Well played, grandma.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime...

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The perennial question: why is she keeping hundreds of thousands of yen of cash in her home? Yeah, that's really "clever." That's like leaving rotting food uncovered in the kitchen and then complaining of cockroaches.

She's never heard of an ATM or a bank account?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Typical Japan, poor old guy down on his luck steals a pittance and is all over the news , while everyday the boys at the top steal millions one way or another and nothing said

7 ( +7 / -0 )

3RENSHOToday  07:24 am JST

A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime...

And they usually don't stop or decide to 'commot one more heist and retire'. The thrill and temptation is often too much. they think they did it once, can do it again.

This guy got baited with funny money and he's one Big Dummy!

Hope gets to pick out the best cell in the can, cuz that's where he's going!

The Heist Hotel. He'll be checking in but he won't be checking out of it anytime soon.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And once more the claim of street cameras identifying people enough for police to catch them is trotted out. I don't buy it. It was his cell phone I bet.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The report didn't mention how the man was able to open the safe.

It probably was not a safe at all. It was probably a cheap cash box that even I can open without any tools whatsoever. Or, if it was a safe, it was of similarly cheap construction and design. I did open one of those without tools as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@JeffLee

I am guessing you either haven't been in Japan long or have no Japanese family,

Japan is still a very cash based society, ATMs are not everywhere like in central Tokyo and convenience store ATM charge a user fee each time.

So traditionally people kept a fair amount of cash on hand.

Today elderly living alone or without younger family members to take them places go once or perhaps twice a month to the bank to get money for the month.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

If he was stupid enough to not tell the difference between the sizes, even in the dark, then he was probably stupid enough to spend the money in the shops.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Consider my hat tipped to this clever ol' bag! You did spottingly well!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder what evidence they have about the alleged culprit outside his beer gut.

Finding a culprit months after his deed and denying it tells me I need to beware of japan judiciary system.

Explain the proofs please outside the funny story of clever grandma.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

JeffLee - The perennial question: why is she keeping hundreds of thousands of yen of cash in her home?

This is quite common in Japan and there are many reasons for doing it. Taxes, means testing, pension, etc.

My wife’s ex-husband has declared himself bankrupt after borrowing nearly a million bucks to start a limousine bus service for the Olympics, which didn’t happen. She is guarantor on the home they bought together 30 odd years ago. She would be liable to pay his debts even though they are divorced. As a result, she has withdrawn all her cash from the bank and we have it stashed in our home here in Australia.

There are many reasons people keep large amounts of cash at home. It’s mostly about hiding it, I guess.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Have a sting operation where politicos are tempted into stealing public funds and I bet police would catch more of them than if you dropped a wallet full of cash in front of a Yoyogi park homeless camp.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds more like entrapment. If the money was counterfeit, then the only crime that occurred was tresspassing. It's like stealing a packet of confectioners' sugar instead of drugs.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

The old lady is smart! That was a nice setup with the toy money and the camera.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@expat, not true because the intent was there. It would be true only if he knew in fact that the money, or drugs, was fake.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How'd he get in the house? Twice.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If he was stupid enough to not tell the difference between the sizes,

Don't go by the pic. Go by the video. Something is off with the picture.

How'd he get in the house? Twice.

How is it known it was him the first time?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really like her intelligence. Smart lady. On the other hand, lock your safe.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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