crime

Fukuoka senior arrested for stealing a single grape

40 Comments
By SoraNews24

Fukuoka Prefectural Police have arrested a 73-year-old man for the crime of eating a grape from a storefront.

The incident occurred at approximately 9:50 a.m. on the morning of Oct 3 outside a greengrocer in Higashi Ward, Fukuoka City. The suspect allegedly walked past the front of the store, pinched off a single grape valued at 55 yen, and ate it. Just then, he was apprehended by the store manager, who had been secretly watching, and turned over to police.

Fifty-five yen for one grape might seem quite expensive depending where you’re from, but it’s not uncommon in Japan.

The store manager had been tipped off to the crime because for about half a year leading up to the arrest, discarded grape peels were repeatedly found on the pavement in front of the store.

Police are currently investigating the suspect’s connection to the past incidents of grape peels found on the sidewalk as well. If found guilty, he could be responsible for damages running upwards of 1,000 yen.

The suspect also denies the charges, saying he “wasn’t stealing” at the time. Other readers of the news, however, were far less sympathetic.

“Wasted his bright future for just one grape…”

“A crime’s a crime, regardless of how much it is.”

“He was ruining the entire bunch by stealing one grape. Throw the book at him.”

“I think due to the nature of his crimes he should be tried as a child.”

“This is like something from an ethics textbook.”

Whether you abhor the suspect’s behavior or not, everyone can agree it was the peeling of the grapes that did him in. In the end he was allegedly a victim of habit, as peeling grapes before eating is a common custom in Japan, often because the varieties of grapes sold typically have thick skins.

Sadly many people just don’t realize that for various reasons, such as added nutrition, delectable texture, and more efficient larceny, eating grape skins is recommended by nine out of ten doctors and degenerates alike.

Source: Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- “Dr. Fruit” or “How Japan Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Peel”

-- Kyoto police set up system to predict when and where crimes will happen

-- Former police drug investigator arrested for drug possession, claims he didn’t know it was drugs

© SoraNews24

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments
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Standard practice in the West.

But then again, fruit is sold by weight, so you're not stealing from the final consumer, you're sampling from the store.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I was wondering the meaning of grape here.

If I understood well, we are talking about a grain.

For me, he was robbing the robber ;)

Otherwise silly to waste any part of a good fruit.

In my country, we often try the grape. Worse, I have seen throwing juicy watermelons to farm animals ;) Maybe some 10 years crime?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Sadly many people just don’t realize that for various reasons, such as added nutrition, delectable texture, and more efficient larceny, eating grape skins is recommended by nine out of ten doctors

Yeah...if only the grape skin wouldnt be full off sprayed on chemicals like most of the ones found in stores , then it might actually be healthy.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

This story is right out of Charles Dickens. Or maybe Victor Hugo. "Let him eat cake!"

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He should have eaten the skin instead of spitting the evidence out-

4 ( +4 / -0 )

He should be..... along with millions of Japanese, arrested for waste. As was mentioned above, Grape Skins are nutritious along with the skin's of many other fruits but the Japanese, in their over zealous march for cleanliness prefer to circumcise said skins.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

waste tax payer money, for one grape. the 73 year old only took one grape, manager was mean.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Burning Bush - Standard practice in the West

Actually, it is not standard practice in the West to steal fruit. It is standard practice to be offered samples both in the West and in Japan.

As the article states, it is a moral issue and not really a criminal issue. You can’t just walk up to a store and eat whatever you like. I’m sure people would feel the same if they were the fruiterer. I remember seeing an old lady at the supermarket picking one strawberry out of each punnet and sticking it in her pocket. I didn’t dob her in, but I did walk past her and give her a “dame daiyo!” and she left the store

I am always astonished to see people peel grapes. The skin contains a wax that is essential for digestion, like apples.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

“everyone can agree it was the peeling of the grapes that did him in”

Doubt if he actually took the time to stand in front of the store and peel the grape(s if he was the perp in the past cases too). More likely just squeezed the the pulp into his mouth in a quick pass by.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If fruit is sold by the kilogram/pound, are you allowed to slice off the part of the fruit you want? I don't eat the apple core - could save some yen.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The store manager had been tipped off to the crime because for about half a year leading up to the arrest, discarded grape peels were repeatedly found on the pavement in front of the store.

So it's been going on for a year and he was still dumb enough to keep putting it out within easy reach!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

*half a year

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I actually lived in Fukuoka's Higashi Ku for four years, where this crime occurred and I can say it is not surprising. The place has really gone downhill over the years, with fruit related street crime being so bad you'd think you were in Detroit or Baghdad.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The police could have just given him a stern warning or fine but arrested him for this minor "crime" is simply pitiful!

Now they're going to waist even more taxes investigating this further?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He should have really been arrested for peeling a damn grape.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Sad to hear of such atrocity.

While laws are there, and often laws are black and white, it is but an enforceable "guideline" based upon the "interpretation" and "determination" of (not necessarily judgement of) that person injured or damaged in light and context of the situation, circumstance, condition and environment. Much of that determination made by the victim is personal and can be based upon personal values and priorities. This case the priority was not based upon the nature of what a retail grocery store is about but upon removing what was a nuisance (not a loss or damage) at a level far beyond what damage the victim may have imagined to have received.

It not only ruined a person's social relationship but also what a retail store is all about. A retail store is a "service" to the public to provide the goods and services wanted and needed while charging a fee for profit for that service. It is the public, the people with money in their pockets, the customers, that come and buy the products and services.

To do that, all retail stores promote and advertise to get the customers to trust and be motivated to come that particular store. One such promotion is to give out "free" samples and encourage the customers to "experience" that product so that that customer may decide to buy it from that store. In that effort many stores give out hundreds or thousands of samples of all kinds daily. In that light and perspective, this incident is extremely harmful for everyone concerned and involved.

It degrades everyone from the police, to the retail store and its customers, and most of all such retail store management personnel.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That is one of the many hidden ways to survive longer in Japan, now we have found out, so it's time for us to pick up little little fruits carefully some of the good days of the month.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I can see the store owners side, you know if a hand full of people take one or two grapes at a time, thats a whole bunch that adds unto ? yen, so the store owner has to buy them in, thus he's loosing money. as the law stand if you take something, (and that does not mean if its below a certain price its free), you have taken something that does not belong to you, its theft. if I was the copper, rather than take up valuable time and money, I would ask the offender to buy the rest of the bunch, to save any embarrassment, and then if he told me to go forth and multiply, then I would arrest him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Petty.. That's Fukuoka for you. This Supa which I have shopped maybe once but drive by often shoud just keep the produce inside and everthing else for sale. Issue solved. 73 years old? Really? Can you imagine the interrogation at the Higashi Koban? We are going to DNA link you sir to the eaten grape. Any peels with your DNA detected and we are talking compounding your charges. Like the FPD have got nothing better to do. Hint! How about the outta control taxi cab driver's and truck driver's. They all drive like mad men in Higashi. I have almost been creamed twice this year.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

"Just say NO" to Salmanela.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

grapes are covered in pesticides over and over during growing, so the practice of grape peeling is odd but has the nice side effect of avoiding the chemicals. But if you're sucking on the grape to peel it with the teeth, then no. You'd have to actually peel it with a knife

It's generally in a food to avoid category

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Over here grapes are sold in bunches, by weight. A pound might go for $1. when on sale, and it is usually considered acceptable to sample one grape before buying the bunch. I do it myself just about every time before buying. If the grapes are sweet, I buy. If they are sour, I don't buy. Fifty five yen for one grape? I think I would give up grapes, at that price.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah...if only the grape skin wouldnt be full off sprayed on chemicals like most of the ones found in stores , then it might actually be healthy

the practice of grape peeling is odd but has the nice side effect of avoiding the chemicals. But if you're sucking on the grape to peel it with the teeth, then no. You'd have to actually peel it with a knife

Or, you know, wash it in cold water.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

He's a monster, what human would just throw grape skins on the sidewalk?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Rainyday: excellent post! ,-)

My (former) J-Father-in-law used to do something similar ... not the stealing, but the skinning. Strange thing is, he would could eat a whole bowl of grapes at our place, spit every skin into the palm of his hand (yes, after chewing ... ) but we never, ever found the skins ... I always wondered what he did with them ...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If only he had heard of Costco, he might have gotten 2 or 3 grapes!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But honestly, the shop owner sounds like a bunch of sour grapes.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He was just sampling the grape. In Australia, you can sample the fruits and you can buy it if you're happy with the taste. It's not crime to sample the fruit.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think we really need to consider capital punishment in this case. Stealing a grape today, tomorrow hijacking an entire truckload of square watermelons! Crime starts young and, in Japan, 73 is the new 'young' given the changing demographics. And, truly, this heinous act is a clear attack on 'orderly' society so we may even be able to charge this miscreant with TERRORISM. Perhaps Nihon could rent space at Guantanamo (we need the cash) for this national threat. Kudos to the shopkeeper for upholding the highest values of Capitalism and calling the Authorities on anyone who thinks they can steal a grape and not suffer the wrath of frustrated greed. But we must hope that 'social cohesion' doesn't raise its ugly head and all of the 73 year olds in the neighborhood don't, en masse, visit the store to sample its grapes. Wouldn't that be terrible...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Grapes Of Wrath!!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Some young cop will have his day in court to gain experience over this.

Great practice for them...a huge inconvenience for the defendant.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That last paragraph threw me for a loop...

Sadly many people just don’t realize that for various reasons, such as added nutrition, delectable texture, and more efficient larceny, eating grape skins is recommended by nine out of ten doctors and degenerates alike.

How did the story go from an elderly man shoplifting a single grape to the nutritional value of grape skins?

Dazed and confused.

S

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah...if only the grape skin wouldnt be full off sprayed on chemicals like most of the ones found in stores , then it might actually be healthy

the practice of grape peeling is odd but has the nice side effect of avoiding the chemicals.

Or, you know, wash it in cold water."

Dont,t think grandpa was carrying a water bucket with him whilst perpetrating this hideous crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another "top 10" criminal is now off the streets of Japan and all fruit and veg vendors can now sleep easier knowing that both law enforcement is on the job and that the master mind behind the famous grape theft has been nabbed.

Chalk one up for the good guys! "extreme sarcasm"

1 ( +1 / -0 )

He peels his grapes. He should be arrested for that alone. 1000yen worth of damages? Gee I wonder how he's gonna pay that. Hope he's got money saved.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Granted this is hardly the worst crime of the century, but the cavalier attitude of some of the posters bothers me.

Grapes in Japan tend to be bigger than where I come from, and therefore one bunch generally has fewer grapes compared to back home And they are not sold by weight but by the perfect, intact bunch. One person snitching one grape might not be so noticeable, but if you had several who felt entitled to sample the wares, the bunch would soon be unsaleable. When, where, and in what form samples are offered should be up to the shopkeeper.

Do you all open up bags of senbei, boxes of crackers, trays of sushi, or whatever to sample? Why should fruit be any different?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dont,t think grandpa was carrying a water bucket with him whilst perpetrating this hideous crime.

Neither do I. Has nothing to do with the post you quoted, though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are so many do-gooders/narks/grasses in Japan, it’s unbelievable. It’s one aspect of society here I really can’t stand

Could the shopkeeper not just have warned the guy face to face he would call the cops if it happened again?

I’m sure he would have got the message.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Grapes of wrath. Only a few us understand that statement :)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Standard practice in the West.

No, it isn't. Maybe in the west of Russia near St. Petersburg, but not in the West.

This was a criminal act and should be prosecuted as such. In the US, it is constitutional for police to arrest you no matter how minor the crime.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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