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Police in Sapporo looking for serial urinal grate thief

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Police in the city of Sapporo are on the hunt for a master thief. Well, to be fair, since no witnesses have seen the crimes as they went down, we can’t rule out the possibility that the ongoing crime spree is actually the work of a team of highly sophisticated criminals coordinating the heists, hitting 16 targets in just the last half of May alone.

But it’s probably just one guy. Why? Because it’s hard to imagine there’s more than one person in the world who’s interested in the sort of loot that’s being made off with: urinal drain grates.

And no, this isn’t a case of someone shoplifting brand-new grates from hardware stores or home centers. It’s specifically the little pieces of metal sitting at the bottom of urinals in public park restrooms, which have ostensibly been peed on hundreds, if not thousands, of times, that the thief is going after.

Images shown in the below video, provided by the Sapporo city government, shows examples of some of the types of grates that have been stolen. With grates with both long slots and round openings having been targeted, the criminal seems to be on an indiscriminate rampage.

The most recent thefts have occurred in Sapporo’s Higashi Ward, where 15 urinal grates were stolen in late May, with another taken in Kita Ward during the same timeframe.

As you might rightfully assume, urinal grate theft isn’t something cities in Japan spend a lot of effort on countermeasures for. The grates can be easily removed by hand, and their grossness, combined with their lack of desirability to the vast majority of humanity, are ordinarily enough to prevent anyone from walking off with them. There’s little to no monetary incentive in stealing them, seeing as how they only cost around 1,000 yen brand new. While we haven’t done much shopping in illegal toilet parts black markets recently, we can’t imagine used grates would sell for very much, even if you could find a buyer, and it’s not like the grates are large enough to be worth much of anything to scrap metal buyers either.

That leaves vandalism or a very peculiar fetish as the most likely motives. For now, the Sapporo police are asking parkgoers to report any suspicious persons or missing grates, in hopes of solving this urine-soaked caper.

Source: Hokkaido Cultural Broadcasting via Golden Times

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Police baffled by bizarre guard rail crime theft crime spree in Japan

-- Suspected jewelry thief captured in Japan in comically slow-speed foot pursuit by police【Video】

-- Cringe-worthy thief calling self “Lupin” arrested in “the Flower of O-Edo”

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I don’t even know what to say on this one, I have seen a lot of weird things in this country, things that just defy reality and normalcy, but this just takes it to a whole new level.

5 ( +14 / -9 )

They would make nice earrings.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

You get good money for brass at recyclers.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

""That leaves vandalism or a very peculiar fetish as the most likely motives""

That is exactly what it is, they are made of low grade Stainless steel possibly #304 and worth Zero Yen, only a mentally disturbed Man or a Woman!! would this.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

I don’t even know what to say on this one, I have seen a lot of weird things in this country, things that just defy reality and normalcy, but this just takes it to a whole new level.

I'll second Bass on this one. Just when you think it can't possibly get any stranger here and then something happens that makes you go HAH?????

0 ( +4 / -4 )

The old urine smell fetish is a new one.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Thief of urinal grates?

Ha ! Ha!

Ha !! Ha!!

Ha!!! Ha!!!

Ha!!!! Ha!!!!

Ha - Ha- Ha -Ha - Ha-Ha- Ha!!!!!

0 ( +7 / -7 )

I tried to buy one. Four home centers but couldn’t find the right size. Maybe they are a special object? I am using a cut bbq grill.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

These are STRANGE times folks, only commenting because it's not likely we'll get same 'smelly' story again!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

The most weird robbery in 2023

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I call non fetish. Melting them down into blocks to sell to metal dealers

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If police catch the person (it could be any gender, or perhaps an octopus) they should tell the tidied "You're in trouble!". It will be interesting to hear the thief's testimony. We can only hope the stolen grates are not being used to mash potatoes by caterers to Hokkaido's school cafeterias.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is one of those stories where you have to save the article as PDF as a reminder of Japanese specialties

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I wonder who leaked the story to the press?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

When I first read this news article, I thought it was, is that some one was taking the pxxx, but apparently not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a disgusting thing to be stealing/collecting. Perp needs some counselling.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I reckon he was sealing them for the recycle cash too. It’s better than that group that were stealing highway guard rails to sell to the recyclers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Please excuse me for a moment while I go projectile vomit after reading about this deviancy.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I avoid public toilet,like they are the plaque, people should make sure empty their bladder before they go out for a long duration,I had jury duty,I never peed so much in a public place in my life with strangers and I do drink liquid,if am going somewhere for and hour or too

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bass, it's nice to be able to agree with you once in a while.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maybe he is a homosexual with a bizarre cottaging fetish. I mean, strange thin are going on these days and this is very queer, you see.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

They should use a sniffer dog to find him. Just look for the bad smell from his apartment/house.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

these work great in meat grinders; with interchangable sizes for the ground meat to be pressed through. the culprit probable owns a local fast food joint.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe he’s just peed off with the state of the old ones and wants some new shiny ones. I am sure the police will be able to flush him out eventually…

0 ( +1 / -1 )

More and more crimes happening. Scary, Japan not safe anymore.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That crime stinks

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the purpose is vandalism (that seems quite likely) they could search around the toilets, people trying to annoy or be a nuisance would not be interested in keeping the grates, so discarding them at a short distance from the toilet would be expected, and finding some of them could give some evidence to catch the thief.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Drinks a ridiculous amount.

Wakes up with 16 urinal grates in the house...."What the heck happened lastnight!!!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Obviously done by someone whose sense of morals is in the toilet. Who could it be?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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