Shop employee fights off three robbers with polearm in Tokyo's Ueno district

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

At around 6:40 p.m. on Sunday evening, a pair of men on a motor bike pulled up to a store that sells precious metals in Tokyo’s Ueno district, located a block away from Okachimachi Station. Without removing their helmets, the men entered the store, called Ryutsu, and began smashing its glass display cases with what appeared to be crowbars.

Soon after, a third man, on his own motorbike, stopped in front of the store and tried to head inside, also keeping his helmet on and removing a crowbar or pipe from his jacket. Almost immediately after he crossed over the threshold, however, the other two robbers came running back out, colliding with their accomplice. The tables had been turned by an employee armed with a weapon with greater reach: a polearm or sasumata.

▼ Video of the attempted robbery

The suspenders-wearing polearm-wielding employee was joined by a coworker, an older man in a suit. As they chased the robbers out of the shop, the suited man kicked over one of the bikes and pushed over the other. Still brandishing their crowbars, the three robbers backpedaled away from the swings of the man catcher, and when they eventually turned tail and ran, the employee in suspenders then turned the polearm on one of the bikes, slamming it down in a series of overhead smashes ostensibly with the aim of damaging it and limiting its effectiveness as a getaway vehicle. The criminals were unable to steal anything from the store, and no injuries to the employees or bystanders were reported.

This was the latest in an alarming increase in smash-and-grab robberies targeting luxury goods shops in Tokyo over the past year. Nearly a half-dozen have taken place so far this year in this particular part of Ueno, which has a cluster of jewelry and high-end watch shops. Speaking with reporters after the incident, the suited Ryutsu employee said that the store purchased its man catcher last year after seeing reports of similar crimes elsewhere in the city. The same employee also says that he believes he saw the same two motorbikes driving by the store the previous day at about the same time, and thinks they were likely scoping the pace out prior to the attempted robbery the next day.

Looking at the video, you might notice that the motorbikes appear to be partially covered by some sort of thick colored paper. This is most likely an attempt to obscure their paint color and other identifying model/manufacturer badges, in order to make them harder to identify by witnesses or investigators, but such deceptions are a moot point now that the police are in possession of the vehicles. In addition, the street the men fled down has so many jewelry and accessory shops that it’s known as Ruby Street, and with many of those shops having beefed up their security camera systems, hopefully footage from them can be used to help identify and apprehend the criminals.

Source: TV Asahi

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Shocking daylight smash-and-grab robbery occurs at shop in Tokyo’s fanciest neighborhood【Vid】

-- 54-year-old Japanese woman stops armed robbery at her convenience store with her brute strength

-- Foreign restaurant worker uses extension cord to help catch thief on street in Japan

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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The items and the cash are all insured. It’s not worth risking your life to defend them. This suspender wearing fella with the polearm is lucky they didn’t have guns or the outcome could have been a lot different. Just give them what they need and get them out of the store.

-27 ( +12 / -39 )

The items and the cash are all insured. It’s not worth risking your life to defend them. 

While I'd never advice one to to fight off robbers, I'm glad this guy did. Maybe it'll make wouldbe robbers think again.

This suspender wearing fella with the polearm is lucky they didn’t have guns or the outcome could have been a lot different

This is Japan. The likelihood of that is very, very low.

25 ( +29 / -4 )

While I guess we should admire employees who would fight to the death for their beloved company - they likely do have insurance for armed robbery.

These criminals were comically inept. Definitely first timers.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Well done the employees fighting those clowns..

Get rid of them..

15 ( +19 / -4 )

The camera person had one job to do……horrible capture.

I dug the dude in suspenders swinging the “man catcher,” smashing the little bikes.

That made my day for sure.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

I remember the manager at my first part-time job (cashier at a drug store) in high school telling me, "If someone has a weapon and tells you go give them the money, give it to them. Your life is not worth $200."

That being said, the guy with the pole is pretty darn big and looks like he could have handled the robbers on his own. Shouldn't be too hard for the police to trace the motorbikes if they wern't stolen.

15 ( +15 / -0 )

The camera person had one job to do……horrible capture.

Yes, to keep safe, pretending he should just stayed there and risk getting involved to get you a better shot is not valid.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

This man has guts, can't say I'd do the same unless they threatened me directly. On the news, they mentioned that a woman employee first came out with the pole but froze before the robbers who blatantly ignored her. Maybe this was Suspender Man's time to show off his kendo skills to impress the ladies. lol

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I haven't seen very showy robbery in daytime in the past. This kind of robberies happened times lately. Japan is changing now. They probably watched robbery movies too much.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Idiots. Anyone ever buy gold in Ueno? Those shops are all yakuza owned or backed.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Was the big fat guy in the suspenders dumb for risking his life for his crappy job? Sure.

Did I enjoy watching those thieves run away like schoolgirls and get their little mopeds knocked over? You bet.

Would I have preferred to see the big fat guy use that pole thing to cave a couple of their skulls in? Absolutely.

These are the people who make everything cost more for all of us, insurance premiums included. If they risk getting their heads kicked in when they go in to steal, I'm good with that.

My hat is off to you, big fat guy in suspenders.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

The only guns that exist in this country are ones that Yakuza smuggle in, and they end up usually shooting themselves in the foot because of their lack of knowledge of using one, comical in fact. Or I guess now people are learning how to make one use laser and finally the police.

I still believe Japan when it comes to guns, this country outweighs many other countries in safety, and so, fighting back is still very possible and this guy was big and strong and good on him and these guys if caught won't see daylight for a long time.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Seems like an easy police catch having the attempted robbers motorbikes. I wonder how many police will be assigned to this case? 100 200 more to catch them?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Most yakuza's handguns are from Philippine, police said so. Owning shotguns and rifles for hunter is very hard to get a license from police. They have to take a lecture and need to pass test. Police will check everything on you, your family and your friends. Every hunter must buy them at the shops authorized by police.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I was surprised that he was allowed to purchase a "polearm or sasumata", but learned that the introduction of sasumata to schools came to be popular after the Osaka school massacre in 2001. Now sold on amazon and rakuten

Moderator - note the spelling of sasumata, 刺股, spear fork, not satsumata.

Moderator: Thank you. It has been corrected.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The items and the cash are all insured. It’s not worth risking your life to defend them. This suspender wearing fella with the polearm is lucky they didn’t have guns or the outcome could have been a lot different. Just give them what they need and get them out of the store.

The very worst possible take on this story. Did you import this gem of wisdom from the US where we see regular, blatant, in your face robberies while feeble staff members look on and do nothing while they get pillaged? That’s your advice for these Ueno store owners. Please.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japan comedy.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Saw that last night on the news. The news reader comment something to the effect that the incident was unJapanese!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Police have announced a short time ago, the arrest of two 18-year-old suspects...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

From ANN Asahi News Network...

'According to the Metropolitan Police Department, one of the suspects was accompanied by his father, while the other was alone, and each surrendered to a different police station in Saitama Prefecture. The two have admitted the charges.'

'The Metropolitan Police Department is searching for the remaining person.'

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No it's not !

Just follow the rules and regulations and take the test and make payment

Do you think it is easy to get a license/permit to own hunter guns? Not that easy. I heard many people failed test. but they can retry it later. I heard there are strict requirements about owing hunter guns. bad eyesight is failed. If residence size is too small, failed. if can't go hunt every season, failed. If someone close to you has any criminal record, failed. etc. These I heard.

There's also other license that can be received for handgun but it's not for hunting obviously

It is impossible for ordinary people to own handgun in Japan, except policemen and SDF members.

Rural areas of japan are easier to obtain hunters permits

It is true.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

 It’s not worth risking your life to defend them.

This is generally good advice that I would give as well. But sometimes it's the principle, not the money. We need more people like the big guy. I got a laugh seeing him smash the bike (I hope it wasn't stolen as well, though).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Employees shouldn’t fight the thieves. Police can catch them later. It’s better not to risk your safety. I hope thieves got caught soon and all the best for the employee.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Wrong !

Certain professions allow it

Get educated

Tell me who is certain professions? Who? Handguns are banned in Japan. Certain professions are yakuza?

You better get educated.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Everyone keeps talking about the "employee" risking his life. In a small shop like that, he's just as likely if not more so to be an owner or a member of the family that owns it. As such, it's perfectly understandable that they would take matters into their own hands.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's always good to have a polearm with you.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must admit I was disappointed when I saw the "polearm" in the photo. I was hoping for a halberd, or at least a flail!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

In the USA where every lunatic and his aunt carry’s a gun not fighting back is wise advice. Yes they are insured, but what do you think happens when you claim? Next year your premiums go through the roof. This can drive a small business out of business and the employees out of work.

If as in Japan guns are very unlikely and you have a pole arm that keeps the scum out of reach so much the better.

I do hope the bikes were owned by them, given the feeble attempt to hide their identity it’s unlikely they were stolen.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Why would you ever fight with a robber? Stupid!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why would you ever fight with a robber? Stupid!

I'm happy every time somebody does!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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