crime

Elderly lady gives chase as purse snatcher sprints up escalator

27 Comments
By Preston Phro

If you pay attention while walking around Japan, you’ll eventually see signs warning pedestrians to be careful of purse snatchers. While the average person may never be involved in such an incident, many take care to walk with their bags held away from the street to avoid scooter-riding thieves.

Unfortunately, one 80-year-old woman wasn’t prepared for a purse snatcher while riding an escalator, but she also wasn’t about to just throw her hands up and cry either.

Tokyo police have publicly released the video of a surprising snatch-and-run that occurred on an escalator. The victim was an 80-year-old woman who was simply going about her business, riding a department store escalator up a few floors. In the video, a young man in business clothes is seen passing the elderly woman on the first flight. He waits for her to continue up to the next floor before dashing up the escalator, grabbing her bag midway, and sprinting off the top of the escalator, disappearing off camera.

This little old lady, however, had no intention of just letting the thief get away and chased him as fast as she could, charging after the man and disappearing off camera herself.

The man got away and police still haven’t been able to find him. The woman lost the 33,000 yen in cash she had in her bag. Since the incident occurred at the beginning of June, it seems unlikely that the police will be able to find the thief.

© RocketNews24

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27 Comments
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First, GO GRANDMA GO! It would have been nice to see her catch and beat the guy but I'm glad they have good video footage of his face. second, this guy is not what I pictured reading the headline. He seems like a normal salary man. A person with a 9-5 job, decent wage and a decent person. Just goes to show anyone can commit a crime at any time, sometimes stereotyping/cast typing is accurate for solving crimes however it shouldn't be a go to investigative tool.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Where was the department store security? The guy in the video control room normally would immediately alert the various guards throughout the store and exits...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guy looks a bit suspicious because even as early as the beginning of June, Cool Biz had already commenced, and he was wearing a necktie.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

letsberealistic: I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps a Japan's Most Wanted is in order.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@UsagitoSaru

Ummm, the fact that he was dressed in business clothes does not mean that he really is a businessman who works in an office. I would not be surprised if this is his disguise that he wears to more easily commit crimes by blending into the crowds of office workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@letsberealistic They do have those "help find these criminals" shows here in Japan, but only as pretty infrequent specials, not as regularly scheduled shows. I've stumbled across maybe three of them in the last 10 years or so. They have numbers to which to call in or fax, and typically feature a popular and/or charismatic MC; Monta Mino is one that I remember from a few years back. I have no idea whether the programs are effective at all, however.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

definition of white collar crime is changing here

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Face recognition is already part of our daily lives. Picasa, G+, Facebook, iPhoto, etc. But one has to name the face first in order to "tag" it again. So if he wasn't ever charged with anything, why would this technology magically work. Anyways, had to laugh about the speed of the old lady. See, they can be fast and furious. Be aware of those elderlies who make it into the train faster than my 5-year old boy to snatch up a seat. This video also reminds me of another old lady who takes the law into her own hands: http://youtu.be/F3DxKM3Lmrk

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The problem is there are now hundreds of videos like that and the guys could be identified... if someone they knew took the time to watch that. The probability is low in a big city. But soon, face recognition programs will do the job.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a tool, you have to be a special kind of low to rob an old lady like that. Forget getting caught, I hope the next time he tries it, he falls down the up escalator.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

They won't catch him because it happened in June.

That's because it happened during "cool biz" season. Without a necktie to collar him, the perp. will be lost in a sea of "waishatsu."

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Normally when Japanese suspects see themselves on the news, they turned themselves into the police. I wouldn't be surprised if he shows up at his local Koban in the near future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

this is awful! I hope they catch this man and he loses everything why on earth would a business man do this to a lady who could have been his own grandmother!? His face is clear on the video I don't understand how it would be difficult to catch him. Some body at his office needs to name and shame him quickly.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan should do what other countries do and have "do you know this man" type police TV shows.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It can be dangerous to run after these guys, they will want to get away no matter what and may have weapons, a back-up gang, etc. Of course, however, I would probably do the same thing, tho I am 90 kg and well over 6'...

I agree, why does the article say "they won't get him cuz that was June?" Was this run on the news in the areas of and adjacent to the attack? Somebody will recognize him...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow! great video of her going after the guy for about 4 seconds! Epic!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

geez, at 80 years old, got to give her credit for trying. hope she didn't blow a fuse box while trying.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

TokyoGasJUL. 29, 2013 - 08:59AM JST I thought facial recognition software was up and running for this type of thing.

Current facial recognition technology is only reliable in tightly controlled settings, such as drivers licence photos. It's accuracy is not yet at the stage where it can produce reliable results from real life situations like this. Facebook and other social media are able to employ it in its current state because they don't have to produce results to a level of accuracy and reliability that is required by a court.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Attacking the elderly, this is despicable. Whether this is important or not, I once heard that people in the Kanto region ride the escalator on the left side, while people in the Kansai region ride on the right side. They leave the opposite side for the people in a hurry.

It is true, I live in Kansai and whenever I go to Tokyo, I end up getting pushed over for being on the "wrong" side.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Surprised he was able to run up the escalator. normally blocked with people standing on both sides, oblivious to all goings on around them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Attacking the elderly, this is despicable. Whether this is important or not, I once heard that people in the Kanto region ride the escalator on the left side, while people in the Kansai region ride on the right side. They leave the opposite side for the people in a hurry.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I thought facial recognition software was up and running for this type of thing.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

He would be easily recognizable, so long as the people who do recognize him are willing to come forward and testify against him.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This happened beginning of June. Why is it shown at the end of July? Perhaps the chances of catching the scumbag would have been great had it been publicized sooner.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I agree with the other posters here. The thief is easily recognized on this video-the thief should be easily found,no?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Exactly. That's a great close up of him. Anyone who knows him will be able to identify him there.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Since the incident occurred at the beginning of June, it seems unlikely that the police will be able to find the thief.

Can't beleive that. They have excellent close-ups of his face, somebody must recognise him. Where's the point in surveilance cameras if they can't help you in a situation like this?

10 ( +11 / -1 )

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