crime

Family of 4 living in car arrested for six-month spate of burglaries in Saitama

19 Comments
By SoraNews24

In February of this year, 65-year-old Satoki Sakagami, his son Yuki, wife Yasue, and step-daughter Shihomi (Yasue’s daughter from a previous marriage) were forced to leave their apartment due to money problems. Living out of a car Yuki had borrowed and parked next to a pond, they are believed to have made a family decision to turn to a life of crime to get by.

In the ensuing months, Saitama prefectural police were looking into a rash of over 40 burglaries throughout their jurisdiction. It wasn’t until the late hours of June 30 that they managed to catch Satoki and 26-year-old Yuki while they were attempting to steal 88 items – including fishing gear, video games, and cash, and valued at about 62,400 yen – from a coffee shop in Honjo City.

At this point it was evident that the police had been getting wise to the Sakagami family’s activities over the months, because the very next day they swooped in and arrested 30-year-old Shihomi for attempting to sell stolen goods to a secondhand shop. Also, that same day, 55-year-old Yasue was also apprehended while trying to take a person’s wallet in a supermarket when they weren’t looking.

The authorities said this week they are currently trying to link them to the other 41 incidents, which if proven, will make them responsible for a combined 3.97 million yen in damages. According to the authorities, they said they used the money for living expenses.

Many online found it hard to ignore the similarities between this case and the Oscar-winning Japanese film "Shoplifters" (Manbiki Kazoku) about a “family” of thieves living in Tokyo.

“Wow, it’s a real Manbiki Kazoku…”

“Wha? There really are families like this?!”

“I wonder if someone made a movie about their lives, would it win awards too?”

“I have a feeling cases like this are going to increase from now on.”

“I hope they don’t make a movie about these people. They’re just a bunch of thieves and don’t deserve it.”

“Morals in this country are slipping, so it’s becoming easier for people to become thieves.”

“I can feel the film rights being sold as we speak.”

While I’m not crazy about rewarding people who steal with a book/movie deal, I have to admit I’m extremely curious about the thought process that each member of this family went through leading up to their crime spree. I can only imagine that if my family had to turn into band of robbers we would probably devolve into the beginning of "Grand Theft Auto III" after about a week.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun, NHK, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Kamen Rider stuntman applies skills to thievery

-- Japanese “lottery ticket booth” robbed by literal cat burglar, thief makes off with our hearts

-- Criminally studious Japanese schoolgirl caught stealing dozens of educational books in one night

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

19 Comments
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The authorities said this week they are currently trying to link them to the other 41 incidents, which if proven, will make them responsible for a combined 3.97 million yen in damages. According to the authorities, they said they used the money for living expenses.

That is not all that much money for 4 people to survive since February. It really does look more like survival than hardcore crime to me.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Isn’t there help for people being forced to go and live on the streets in Japan?

12 ( +15 / -3 )

The Japanese social welfare system shining through.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

It never fails to amaze me just how differently crimes by the poor and desperate are reported compared to the rich and privileged.

Sure it’s easy to get flippant comments from ‘netizens’ about these wacky stories, but surely it’d be more beneficial to get comments from social welfare groups, and others who spend their lives dealing with the specific issues.

Meanwhile, stories about political corruption, to single out just one privileged group, happen on an almost daily basis and there’s very little attempt to generate ridicule or antipathy within the articles.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

How about helping them? clearly didn't didn't plan for this.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It wasn’t until the late hours of June 30 that they managed to catch Satoki and 26-year-old Yuki while they were attempting to steal 88 items – including fishing gear, video games, and cash, and valued at about 62,400 yen – from a coffee shop in Honjo City.

Fishing gear & video games can now be bought from a Coffee Shop??

Honjo city coffee shops are the real deal lol!!!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I don't know what the money problems were that caused them to get evicted from their residence But I noticed their was no mention of Employment for any of the four. I know when Push comes to Shove you do what ever it takes to support yourself. Seems no one was hurt during their 40 plus burglaries, so that's a good thing and the money was used for living expenses and not to support a Drug Habit.  I don't condone

their actions their were other ways to support the family besides stealing.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Driven to crime by poverty but they could have requested help with welfare support.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Many online found it hard to ignore the similarities between this case and the Oscar-winning Japanese film "Shoplifters" (Manbiki Kazoku) about a “family” of thieves living in Tokyo.

Make a movie about real existing social issues, see those issues appearing in the news, reaction: "oh it's like the movie". Hmmm, yeah no sh**

4 ( +4 / -0 )

And I bet they still have to pay premium installments to shakai hoken, taxes and pension on zero salaries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Wonder if they contacted the welfare people for assistance? If they did and were turned away, it could be used as justification for them turning to a life of crime.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Shades of "Shoplifters".   Except in real life.  Sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They should watch Korean "parasite", not emulate Japanese "shoplifters".

Good luck to them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

6 months? You'd think they'd have the brains to move from town to town at least. Rob a couple of places and move on. Not stay in one area to get caught. Brilliant, people, brilliant.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Do the hustleToday  06:52 am JST

“The Japanese social welfare system shining through.”

There is nothing in the article to justify that sarcastic conclusion. We are not told anything about why this family of four adults could not pay their living expenses. Nor whether they applied to the welfare office or anywhere else for assistance.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

They were sure to be caught and should have known so. Recycle shops, by law – are required to keep a register of items bought and from whom, recording the details from an ID. Of course they could also steal an ID, but eventually the common physical descriptions will catch up with them. 

As it now turns cold, their living conditions will improve only slightly, as they will be housed by the authorities in less than ideal conditions.  At least they will be fed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

They were sleeping in their shoes.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Japanese social welfare system shining through.

In what way? No evidence for that in the article.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The 4 of them were forced to leave their apartment due to money problems and were living out of a car Yuki had borrowed

This is a prime example of how certain welfare systems are set up to make sure many families who CLEARLY qualify as homeless freely and easily fall through the cracks. Though they relied on their basic instincts for survival (sustenance) but went about it the wrong way, they should not be seriously punished (punished? yes), but be pointed in the right directions for help to better themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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