Man arrested after taking Lexus for test drive to grandmother’s house 180 km away


A 25-year-old man has been arrested for theft in Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, after taking a new Lexus for a test drive from a dealership in Kurashiki City, two prefectures and 180 km away.

According to the police investigation, the suspect Shota Ishibashi wanted to visit his grandmother in Fukuoka, 422 km away. However, being unemployed he was unable to afford the trip. Then he got a brilliant idea and headed down to his local Toyota dealer on May 14.

At the showroom, Ishibashi inquired about buying a car when was presented with a questionnaire to fill out. He must have lied like a rug since Toyota dealers probably don’t make a habit of lending out 7,900,000 yen luxury cars to unemployed 25-year-olds.

In fact, they trusted him so much that a dealer didn’t even accompany him for the test drive they offered. They simply told him to “be back in 30 minutes.” When the car hadn’t been returned in the following two hours, the dealers figured something was up and called the cops.

The police then used the onboard GPS tracker to locate the car in a supermarket parking lot about half way between Kurashiki and Fukuoka. Authorities in the area promptly moved in and arrested Ishibashi for theft.

Source: Itai News

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Only in japan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-15 ( +2 / -17 )

Brilliant idea but I guess his idea didn't take into consideration GPS. hahaha

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hahaha funniest article so far today!!!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

What a fail attempt! Haha

0 ( +2 / -2 )

They should do a remake of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, and have Ishibashi play the role of the parking garage attendant.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Only in japan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Not at all, I was in the auto business for 40 years, it happened a lot.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Richard bHard, it’s not just in Japan. The guy from Brisbane is worst than Shota Ishibashi. Couples of years ago, the guy name Tam Thai Luu, 30 from Brisbane visit to Melbourne. He wants to go back to Brisbane from Melbourne but he does not have the money. He lost all his money at Crown Casino. So he visited to Honda dealer in Frankston suburb of Melbourne. He asked dealer for test drive and dealer let him $ 40,000 Honda Accord for test drive. He drove off Honda Accord before sale man can sit on passenger seat. The dealer called Police but Police can not catch him because he drove the car to South Australia and then to Brisbane via Northern Territory rather than driving to Brisbane via Sydney, NSW. Polices were looking for him on wrong road. He was arrested for failing to pay for petrol in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, 62,000 km from where he took the car for test drive. The distant is the equivalent of London to Istanbul. It may be wold record longest test drive in history. However, he was not charged with theft under Australian Law and he was charged with with unlawful use of a motor vehicle valued at over $20,000. Unfortunately Shota Ishibashi was caught 180 km away from dealer and charged with theft. Next time, Good luck Shota-san. Here's I found the that old news in Brisbanetimes but not detail include in this news.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I wonder what Japanese law is in this case and what he was arrested for. I am British. In UK law it is only theft it can be proved that the culprit wanted to deprive the owner of possession permanently. This would probably be treated as a case of "joyriding" unless her stole something from in the car.

A friend in Britain, who used to work for a car hire company, told me that the police did not help when hired cars were not returned because it was impossible to prove that the hirers did not intend to return them.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what a WINNER

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Mr. Kobuta, so the Australian man drove the distance that would be enough to go from Tokyo to New York and back 3 times??

No wonder he could not pay for gas!!!

I understand how that can easily be a misspelling but since your lengthy comment was about distances I thought it should mention the right number.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

can he really be charged with theft? i think the dealership should be charged with idiocy for not having someone in the car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Car dealers are so trusting in Japan. I wanted to do a test drive of a Honda Life, and they just handed me the keys. Granted it is a rather inexpensive car, but still valued at more than a million yen. No license check, no questionnaire. Just, "When can we expect you back?" Japan may have its faults, but you can't fault how trusting most people are (when they want to sell you something at least).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Polices were looking for him on wrong road. He was arrested for failing to pay for petrol in Tennant Creek, Northern Territory, 62,000 km from where he took the car for test drive

Kobuta chan, It wasn'T 62, was 6,200km. But interesting read.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

'Lied like a rug' ? In a news article? Really?

Crazy idea to steal a car from a dealership. Since he's unemployed and had nothing better to do, he should have just rode a bike there.

5 ( +6 / -1 )


0 ( +0 / -0 )

next time he should consider hitchhiking well - this will be in distant future - guess he will be locked up quite a while considering the japanese law system

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This article made my day.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Good on him. Can't really see how this is a crime though. Sounds like the toyota dealer messed up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bro has been watching too many Volkswagen commercials. I think the dealer needs to respect that hustle and drop the charges; just charge him for the gas. Talk about somebody who really loves his g-ma!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"lied like a rug" lol

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So is it just test drive cars that have a GPS tracker or does Toyota track all their lexus and get big data. I know that when I went to a Toyota dealer once they input my Toyotas number plate and had my personal details and started asking informed personal questions straight away and it was obvious since they knew our address before we said any thing. They knew where we bought the car and its service record etc before we had even finished their questionnaire form. Very opposite to the dealer in this story.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

now he have free board and lodging in jail

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What he mad... plus Dealer should know better -hump- great and not good ideas to his he get himself arrested.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

" lied like a rug", "trusted him so much"

They should give a job as a car salesman.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Give the guy a break, he really loves in grandmother. Doesn't that count for anything? Entertaining story!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Probably hoped grandma would buy him the car..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interestlingly writ article, for sure.

Am I the only one who thot:

"Too bad he didn't make it to grammy's house!" ?

gaijintraveller- yes they can charge him with whatever they want, and probably make it stick. Very high conviction rate here.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It,s not a crime , he just got carried away by the comforts of the lexus, I guess it,s free advertising for Toyota ,isn,t it!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At least he didn't use the usual excuse of being drunk at the time...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Do the Lexus consume gasoline a lot? This incident made a little bad image for Tyota's car. It is not a brilliant idea for Toyota.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Hero! should star in a hollywood road movie, a la midnight run..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

(Baldy fat gaijin...) Hi, my name's Bruce Willis. Mind if I take that Porsche Carrera GT for a spin round the block?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ha Ha - now that's what I call a Japanese thinking outside the box. Give him a slap on the wrists. After all, it's nice that he loves his grandma and was willing to make such an effort to visit :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Only in Japan. Yes, people take cars out for "test drives" in other countries and thieve them, but how many of them do it to go and visit their Granny?!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Gotta give him some credit for innovation and devotion to Grandma. But he could have said he got lost, couldn't figure out the GPS, then went to borrow gas money from Obaachan in order to return to the car to the dealer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I hope they go easy on him. A dude that loves his grandma can't be that bad, after all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Next time, he should request to test-drive a car with less specification..... such as no GPS.... at least a few thousand dollar cheaper..... he was driving ahead but not thinking ahead.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

actually, his granny wanted to buy the car since he is jobless..... the granny should be questioned instead bcoz the granny was the one who asked him to drive the car for her to see......

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Two birds with one stone? Maybe he wanted to show her how hard he is working and how well he is doing in life. A Lexus might be a nice subliminal message.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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