Police investigate theft of over 330 hand straps from Tokyo trains


Police in Tokyo are investigating a series of thefts of train hand straps reported by several railway companies in the capital since last November.

According to police, Tokyo Metro said that three hand straps had been stolen from trains on the Hibiya subway line between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Fuji TV reported.

Another 80 hand straps have been taken from trains on the Hibiya, Fukutoshin and two other subway lines since early December, Tokyo Metro said.

Tokyu Dentetsu, the operator of the Tokyu Toyoko and other lines, has also reported about 200 missing hand straps since last November, while 50 have disappeared from Odakyu line trains since December, Odakyu Railway said.

The number of missing hand straps for all railway companies as of present tops 330, police said.

According to investigators, all straps had been removed from the trains along with their belts, leading police to believe that the perpetrators may have used tools to loosen the screws while riding on the trains.

However, no passengers have reported seeing anyone take the straps on any of the trains.

Police believe the hand straps may have been stolen for resale purposes and are currently investigating Internet auction and other sale sites.

© Japan Today

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Ah, why?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I would love to have a hand strap for my home. That way, I could hang it up at home and feel more at ease during vacation time with the masses and hang on it at at will.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I have seen some used in niche movies, perhaps some one is planning a big new production and needs them for that authentic look.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Somebody strapped for cash.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

I'm sure with the right tools they can be removed in less than a minute, but these are popular lines and there are clear sightlines between cars, so the fact that no one saw anything is what surprises me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Train stuff like that has collector value, I have seen them fir sale at model railroad conventions and shops. When a train company retires a train they usually sell off all the little bits to collectors, so most of them are legit, but i am guessing this guy is planning on selling them in that market.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Those nasty things carry so many germs, who'd want to steal those straps?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

So, it seems the mindless thieves have stepped up a notch from stealing bicycle seats. Interesting that the cops believe they are stealing them resale. I'm sure there is a huge market for stolen train hand straps, NOT!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Maybe there's some STUPID new online challenge for the 'bored out of their mind youths' which challenges them to see how many of these hand strap they can 'take'. Failing that, somebody figures there's a market for these or maybe someone is getting back at these companies for whatever reason OR it's a safety vigilantly going around removing the hand straps they feel need to be replaced... okay so I'm just spit-balling here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be honest, there have been times when I wanted to take a train poster that caught my eye.

Just rip it off at the shuuten, roll it up... nobody would notice.

Never done it though.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

May be shipped to neighboring country ...!!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

May be shipped to neighboring country ..

Kind of reminds me when people were stealing slides and swings from playgrounds a few years back because China was paying big for metal.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is this the works of a disgruntled JN, lashing out against unemployment, homelessness, rejection or complete dissatisfaction ?

"May be shipped to neighboring country ...!!" Malaysia could sure use them. and while their at it , send them some street lights, and trash bags.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Another Japanese comedian at work?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The perp may like seeing people fall over on the train. Or some bizarre fetish involving hand grip.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably being shipped to Australia and the US. It's a car culture thing. Most people here will just buy one from Autobacs or whatever for a few hundred yen, but there is a market overseas for the real deal.

Google "subway strap" and "JDM" (Japanese domestic model) if you have no idea what the hell I'm talking about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Police believe the hand straps may have been stolen for resale purposes and are currently investigating Internet auction and other sale sites.

There is some kinky things going on in Japan! I think otherwise!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's almost funny...anyway who would do such a thing? Is there a resale market for these...really ??

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Stolen for resale?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Logical_Fallacy_Killer: Stolen for resale?

Hijinks of rival train lines ...

Did they check for stolen mascots?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hokkaidoguy is right, there are loads of offers on eBay. Interesting!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I said "almost funny". Anyway it shouldn't be hard to track the thieves if they are selling them on Ebay.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My guess is who ever is stealing them thought of a way to sell them in some way.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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