Photo: SoraNews24
crime

Man in Sapporo attempts to rob convenience store with lighter

40 Comments
By SoraNews24

With guns being extremely hard to come by in Japan, armed robbers here usually resort to large kitchen knives for intimidating store staff into handing over money. But for some reason, some of them apparently can’t even get their hands on one of those and have to get really creative with “weapons” such as nose hair clippers.

Tomoharu Nakamura of Sapporo, Hokkaido, however, may have taken the cake for most absurd robbery weapon. The 41 year-old was arrested on multiple charges in addition to attempted robbery with a lighter.

The incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on Aug 21 at a convenience store in Kiyota Ward. Nakamura allegedly entered the store, clicked on his lighter, and pointed it at the manager, saying: “Out with the money or I’ll light you up!”

Since the manager was not a scarecrow, he took the calculated risk of not giving in to Nakamura’s demands and instead ran into the back room and called police. Also, since it was the middle of the afternoon there were several customers inside the store at the time, but they too quickly fled the scene despite the risk of getting mildly singed in the process.

Police quickly arrived on the scene, causing Nakamura to turn his lighter on them instead. Luckily, the officers too had faith in their own non-flammability and overcame the assailant to make the arrest. In custody, Nakamura reportedly admitted to trying to rob the store, but he was also charged with assaulting a police officer, obstructing police business, and possibly damage to property as the store’s walls got banged up during the entire incident.

And so ended an incredibly poorly thought-out robbery attempt. Online comments abounded with all the potential ways to foil the threat of a lighter, while the others were just trying to figure out what he was trying to accomplish.

“The manager just had to go ‘Ffffooo!’ and it would be all over.”

“I would have said thanks and pulled out a cigarette.”

“How did he not burn his finger that whole time?”

“The manager was probably frying food and had oil on him, so it could have been dangerous.”

“Maybe he was trying to hypnotize the clerk.”

“He couldn’t even get an attempted arson charge.”

“He just wanted to go to prison.”

It’s said that usually around this time in Hokkaido, people out on the street will try to get prison sentences just to ride out the winter months. That would explain Nakamura’s peculiar choice of weapon, but in assaulting the police he wasn’t just literally playing with fire, and could end up with a much longer bid than he intended if that was indeed his goal.

Without knowing his backstory, we can’t be sure though. It’s just as possible that he was a seasoned robber who got bored of the routine and decided to challenge himself.

Source: FNN, Hachima Kiko

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Restaurant manager arrested for armed robbery…of his own restaurant

-- Lupin III fan arrested for robbing Tokyo convenience store with Walther P38

-- Store employee uses barcode scanner to defeat knife-wielding robber

© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

40 Comments
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He could have put his hand in his full of holes jacket pocket and pointed as if he had a gun with his index finger exposed, that would have them scared

4 ( +8 / -4 )

"Out with the money or I’ll light you up!”

To which the clerk replied: but I don't smoke!

Robber: eeettooo...haaaa

4 ( +6 / -2 )

He only needed to pick up an aerosol can off the shelf to turn his lighter into a bigger weapon

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Since the manager was not a scarecrow, he took the calculated risk of not giving in to Nakamura’s demands

Brilliant!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Sounds like a lost, addled aficionado of Kurosawa's "Cure".

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Should have used a phone. I mean everyone's seen the opening scene of Pulp Fiction.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Watched too many movies, had he sprayed a liquid before hand it would have been a bit more serious.

A hairsprayer with a lighter is a serious weapon…. maybe he was too excited and forgot to buy the hairspray before in the same konbini

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Lol - I can just imagine the clerk just blowing out the flame and looking at the would-be robber with, "what now?"

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Robbery by lighter? Get outta here! Just blow it out. Wow! I’m really scared. Just throw water at him and one of those orange balls. Done. What a wuss!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No! I said a Bud light.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Becoming more and more retarded with each generation!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Is that an actual on-the-scene photo of the perp's hand, or just a dramatic reinactment?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Must have been high on something, or drunk, I don't think he really meant to rob anyone!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

....................but he was also charged with assaulting a police officer, obstructing police business, ...............

Obstructing police business? How does that work?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Your ‘gentlemanly’ correction and apology is accepted. @Zaphod 5:45pm obviously mistook someone else’s answer as mine. Here’s WHO you’re looking for: 

- @spinningplatesToday  02:12 pm: “@ Zaphod, *approaching an unsuspecting person and attacking them over a petty grudge then fleeing across the country is *basically the definition of a cowardly act**. For him it was not a dangerous endeavor, and his flight meant he was unwilling to face the consequences of his action.” 

Please try to keep track to whom you’re debating. (This wasn’t the first time.) 

Regards.
0 ( +0 / -0 )

I would of asked him what brand of cigarettes does he want. Point at them and remember smoking is not allowed in the store.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Chico3Aug. 28  08:55 pm JST

Robbery by lighter? Get outta here! Just blow it out. Wow! I’m really scared. Just throw water at him and one of those orange balls. Done. What a wuss!

> MarkAug. 28  08:48 pm JST

Must have been high on something, or drunk, I don't think he really meant to rob anyone!!!

D-U-M-B.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ROFL the guy must of been smoking something or on crack and he though the could rob a store by becoming a wizard and scare the store clerk with his magical finger lit of fire like a black mage. Too funny and too much harry potter. Lunacy

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not sure which is more idiotic. This guy or the guy from the other day who tried to rob a convenience store saying aloud he's Vietnamese

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Another nutcase. Also, puzzlingly ‘fickle’ when someone can find humor, or worse, dismiss murdered & injured arson victims as “drama queens”, especially when the former attack was on one of their ‘shrines’ to Japan’s beloved manga & anime ??

*- [In this situation AND the recent number of mentally-unstable, individuals attacking others in Japan, the Kyoto KyoAni “mass-murder” tragedy comes to mind. - The other customers and manger were correct to evacuate. - Nothing shameful about moving away from potential danger.]*

*- “Funny news, Drama Queens.. lol !!..” -*

0 ( +0 / -0 )

clicked on his lighter, and pointed it at the manager, saying: “Out with the money or I’ll light you up!”

If I was the manager i think that I would just burst out laughing and tell him to ( expletive ) off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some pretty good online comments!

But a can of aerosol could have made that a bad situation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably would have had more luck with an NES Zapper (or whatever the Famicom light gun was called in Japan) :)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Manager should’ve just started filming and said, go for it. Light it up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Watched too many movies, had he sprayed a liquid before hand it would have been a bit more serious.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This article has really helped to fire up my sense of humor this morning thanks for the humor JT.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

there were several customers inside the store at the time, but they too quickly fled the scene despite the risk of getting mildly singed in the process.

OK, I am all in favour of running away from a dangerous situation rather than play hero, but running away from a guy holding a LIGHTER??

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

He'll get at least six caning strokes for this.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Better not to gamble with own life and give them that ‘pocket money’. It’s safer to catch him afterwards with all the video surveillance and witnesses. While everything still in pandemic mode, the potential weapons are even freely made available right at all the entrances. Not even a need to go to the cash register, showing the lighter alone after stepping in and they will bring it all to you to the door, otherwise it’s immediately quite dangerous for everyone involved and only the attacker may get out in time.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

He might as well came in with a flame thrower that you see in WW2 movies instead of a lighter haha

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like to see a guy try to rob a convinient store with a bb gune or water gun haha That would be funny

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dude was high on drug it seems or watch way too much movies. Not to mention assaulting a officer, that is gonna cost him big time.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

“The manager was probably frying food and had oil on him, so it could have been dangerous.”

ahhahah! today the day starts in a fun way. Thanks to these guys!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

 Nakamura allegedly entered the store, clicked on his lighter, and pointed it at the manager, saying: “Out with the money or I’ll light you up!”

Well, U have to give him points for creativity..

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

snowymountainhell

Since the Mgr ‘escaped’ the immediate area, is someone claiming the manager was a “coward”, …

Well, according to your previous definition, that would be you.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This SoraNews24 article doesn’t read if the manager felt, or if the perpetrator also said he had some kind of ‘flammable’ liquid to douse him.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

attempted robbery with a lighter.

“Out with the money or I’ll light you up!”

Funny news, this shows for the thousandth time how safe it can be to live in a country WITHOUT GUNS !!..

Japan is a very safe country, whine all you want people, nothing will change this fact..

In this situation AND the recent number of mentally-unstable, individuals attacking others in Japan, the Kyoto KyoAni “mass-murder” tragedy comes to mind. - The other customers and manger were correct to evacuate. - Nothing shameful about moving away from potential danger.

DQ detected.. lol !!..

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

In this situation AND the recent number of mentally-unstable, individuals attacking others in Japan, the Kyoto KyoAni “mass-murder” tragedy comes to mind. - The other customers and manger were correct to evacuate. - Nothing shameful about moving away from potential danger.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Since the Mgr ‘escaped’ the immediate area, is someone claiming the manager was a “coward”, …

- “…running away from a dangerous situation rather than play hero, but running away from a guy holding a LIGHTER??”

… or just “smart”?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Downvote all you like @TP 6:36p Nobody’s whinging about that. You seem straightforward enough so, Perhaps your looking at things ‘out of context’ this time, without the full scope? Perhaps some don’t need your help when they’re misguided in the first place?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

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