Man arrested after traveling 1,600 kms on stolen bikes

By Michelle Lynn Dinh

Sometimes when life gets you down, you just want to get away. Run, bike, drive; whatever it takes to get out of the current situation and into a happier state. That’s exactly how one middle-aged man from Chiba Prefecture was feeling when he decided to leave his failing business and begin a nomadic life traveling across Japan.

However, his sudden and deliberate flee spanning over an astonishing 1,600 kilometers ended in his arrest five months after it began because of the man’s poor choice in transportation – stolen bikes.

The man, 43-year-old Nobugiyo Takahashi, left his home and failing bar in Kattori, Chiba Prefecture in July of last year after becoming “sick of his life.” Over a span of five months, he traveled to Nagano, Niigata, Hiroshima, Kochi and Miyazaki prefectures, traveling an estimated distance of at least 1,600 kms by bike.

Of course, there’s no law against going rogue and deciding to live on the streets, but Takahashi unfortunately stole a few things during his journey. He was discovered sleeping on the streets of Minami-satsuma, Kagoshima Prefecture in December of last year and arrested for allegedly stealing three different bikes in front of pachinko parlors in Niigata, Kochi and Miyazaki. He is also accused of stealing an entire crate of beer valued at 15,000 yen.

After his arrest, he admitted to living off of stolen food from supermarkets and only had a change of clothes, a small amount of money, and a map of Japan in his possession.

Internet commenters were overall supportive of Takahashi's actions, with comments of support such as “With that much will-power, he should be able to do anything” and “Surely, this is a forgivable offense.” Others gave practical alternative methods of the execution of his mid-life crisis, suggesting, “He should have done all this with the help of Twitter or Facebook users. Anyone with an old bike would have given it to him or at least treated him to some beer.” Others were completely unhelpful, commenting, “He’s gotta have some muscular calves now” and “Is it okay to ride a bike after drinking beer?”

Takahashi's quest to find a better life, or at least get away from his current one, was incredible in its longevity and distance.

Source: Yomiuri Online via Itai News

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- 65-year-old arrested for theft: “I never worked” -- Man steals high school girls’ raincoats, gets caught, admits he has an “interest” in them -- Petty Thief Shows Us Where the Line Between “Gutsy” and “Idiotic” Lies

© RocketNews24

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Better than suicide, but running away and stealing? This guy seems like a bipolar.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Probably made him pretty fit.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

It would nice to supportive and say good on ya but if it were my , bike I'd be pretty unhappy so I can't really be particularly supportive of a common thief while I sit at work to make money honestly.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

bicycles & umbrellas seem to be on the "share" system in japan anyway. stealing food & things like that isn't cool though .

0 ( +4 / -4 )

let him go!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Seriously, bad choice of bikes it seems. It's not like there isn't a couple dozen abandoned bikes in front of most train stations anyways.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

I can't really be particularly supportive of a common thief while I sit at work to make money honestly.

Yeah, but can you really characterize this guy as a "common" thief? Nothing common about him at all, I'd say. I'd still be pissed if he stole my bike, though. ;)

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Now if he can write a book about it. "5months..."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Its a very interesting story. I hope the guy was able to learn something from the experience that he could use to turn his life around.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

1600 km on a mamachari? Bridgestone should present him with its top-of-the-line machine.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Stolen bikes aside, this guy is my new Forest Gump.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Garthgoyle, that was my first thought, too.

Ride, Forest! Ride!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I don't condone the theft, but apparently physical exercise is the best way to fight depression. Seriously. Releases some chemical - serotonin or something - that makes you feel better. Just saying.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

stealing three different bikes in front of pachinko parlors

Not much harm done here! The bike owners are probably some apathetic pachinko addicts. Give this guy a wedgie and let him go.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Just like an anime or manga story... Having a bad life? Why not go on a quest to find yourself or a better life?

I'd be supporting him even if it were my bike was stolen too, maybe be a little grumpy cause of it but still. I doubt that any of those bikes were expensive enough to be that of a big deal. Also i doubt he actually had a hard time taking the bikes, I'd say the owners were not careful enough... no offence.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Guess Abenomics got the best of this guy's business. Stealing is wrong but he should of stole from those who steals from him like the government and big corporates instead of the real hard working tax payers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nicking bikes was the wrong thing to do, but you have to admire him for his determination. Bet he's got a sore bum and plums though... those saddles aren't the most forgiving of things to sit on for over 1500 kms.

As others have said, better than suicide... They should make a film about him, or a drama.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stolen bikes. No big deal. This guy dealt with his problems without taking his life. He's a winner in my book.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Better than the weirdo NEETs, killing people for kicks, in the news these days. And less trouble than the guys who have had it with Japan Inc and throw themselves in front of trains. Give him a nice bike and let him go on his way.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Although I don't condone theft, I think he should be let off with a fine, and given a job promoting physical fitness to children and adults.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Okay, so now I have to find Nobugiyo Takahashi, interview him at length about his travels and thoughts, and write that film. Thunderbird2, find him for me!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hats off to the Bike Man of Japan. Hope he's soon back in the saddle again.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

yeah id put him in a new Bridgestone/Yokohama/Toyo tire commercial.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A thief is a thief. He had the money to simply buy a bike for he was able to just walk away owing money to people as he did have some money in his pockets unless he stole that also.

Make him work off the fines and, if any, imprisonment by cleaning the bike storage areas of the train stations with an ankle bracelet that gives his position every minute so he does not just steal another bike and peddle off.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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