Tokyo police have arrested a man for making fraudulent complaints about damp sliced bread and raking in an estimated 30 million yen from unsuspecting retailers in the process.
The media have described Takashi Ishimoto, 53, as “unemployed”, but “full-time hustler” might be a more appropriate title. The Chuo Ward resident’s reported plan was alarmingly simple but relied on an amazing amount of audacity to pull off.
In the crime that led to his arrest, Ishimoto contacted a retailer who carried bread in Adachi Ward. Posing as a former customer, he complained that the sliced bread he had purchased there was soggy. Afterwards, he would contact the same store, this time pretending to be someone from their own head office. The fake authority figure would request that they bring him “some replacement bread and all the cash they took in for the day as an apology to the customer.”
In this instance, Ishimoto was suspected of getting 300,000 yen, and worse, two new loaves of fluffy, dry sliced bread. Reports don’t specify how he exactly managed to convince the store he was both the customer and company employee, but he must have used a combination of phone, email, and/or in-person visits.
Police say that Ishimoto admitted to the charges and upon further investigation have linked him to a series of cons with the same MO five years ago. They estimate those losses to be around 27 million yen. Anpanman only knows how many free loaves the scoundrel absconded with as well during that time.
Readers in Japan had this to say about the incident:
“That’s genius.” “Well, there’s a new way to make money.” “That’s one professional unemployed guy.” “Why would they even bring the day’s sales?!” “Is the world getting stupider?” “Why wouldn’t they ask for some ID before handing the money over?”
Source: TBS News/Yahoo! Japan News
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