crime

Swimmer Tomita gets 18-month ban for stealing camera

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Tomita has been suspended for 18 months by the country’s swimming federation and fired from his job after stealing the camera at the Games.

Wow. Michael Phelps just got arrested here for DUI, and he only got suspended 6 months.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Dude should spend a few days in jail....he's a thief.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Stealing is more moraly unacceptable tha drinking and driving. Stealing is a deal breaker and ruins all trust. DUI is a brain fart....

-16 ( +2 / -18 )

Stealing is more moraly unacceptable tha drinking and driving.

ukita -- absolutely disagree. DUI potentially involves risk to the lives of innocent motorists or even pedestrians. My point in my original post was that I think Phelps got off too lightly, because he is a star and a winner of 22 Olympic medals, and he was arrested here in the U.S. While I think Tomita got too harsh a penalty because he embarrassed Japan at an International Meet, held in SK -- so the whole country "lost face".

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I agree, DUI is much more serious than stealing. With theft, someone loses an item. With DUI, someone may lose a life.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Back on topic please. DUI is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is there any report on why, the reason, for stealing a camera, when he lives in one of the cheapest places to acquire any camera he wished. Was it a compulsion, a prank?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why did he take the camera. Was it the camera or what was on the camera that he wanted. I can not believe this man would steal a camera. What did he say I do not think. That Japan Know how much the Korean people hate Japan.

Thomas

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

SauloJpnOct. 09, 2014 - 09:26AM JST Is there any report on why, the reason, for stealing a camera, when he lives in one of the cheapest places to acquire any camera he wished. Was it a compulsion, a prank?

Might be besides the point, but it's been quite a while since Japan was one of the cheapest place to get a camera. In any case a $7000 camera wouldn't be anymore reasonable in Japan than Korea.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I thought it was the devil you stole the camera.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

typo:

you -> who

0 ( +0 / -0 )

“I feel sorry and feel regret (about what has happened),” said JOC President Tsunekazu Takeda. “I want to apologise to all the people (of Japan).”

and to the journalist. How about the victim?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

All brawn....no brains!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Evidently he took the lens off the camera prior to stealing the body of the camera, which tells me he was out to steal something that he thought he could easily hide.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I wonder why he would want to steal such a camera. There should be a reason.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just hope Mr. Tomita bows deeply to the media, sobs uncontrollably, pounds his fists into the table, apologizes for this "regrettable incident", reflects sincerely during his suspension and takes the necessary measures to ensure such a "regrettable incident" does not happen again. That should do the trick.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

All this for a stupid camera..He's lucky he's not going to jail for theft

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Mirai, its not just a stupid camera, he's broken the trust that people had in him , he's also disgraced himself and his fellow country men, the depth of punishment has gone quite deep, but why not? hopefully it will send out a strong message to every one that this is not acceptable!. if your house was broken into and the cops turned up and there reply was well it does not really matter just claim off your insurance, would you be happy? I suspect you would want them to go around and arrest someone, yes?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Well, it's a start. If this criminal act is any indication of Tomita's true character, as it seems to be (else why would you do it in such a venue?), he'll be committing more crimes before his probation is done and will be kicked out permanently before the Tokyo Olympics. It doesn't matter what the excuse or how much apologists defend him (while berating certain Chinese players for much, much less!), the young man committed a crime, in front of all to see and at the very event he was representing his nation at, and as such the decision is just and he's lucky he's not seeing prison on top of everything else.

jerseyboy: I thought someone might mention Phelps in comparison with Tomita. The main difference between the actions of the two is that the former committed a misdemeanor on his own time while the latter did it during an event at an international sports meet representing his nation. The latter does far more to damage the reputation of the nation and the spirit of the games. The difference in suspension times is therefore not all that surprising. Now, Tomita getting fired from his regular job is a bit of a different story, but the swimming organization kicking him out for a year and a half for doing something at a swimming event is just fine.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Some Japanese media reported that he's actually a "strange" person to begin with. I am not sure how credible it is but it said once Tomita brought a huge Mickey Mouse plush to the training because he's lonely. I also can't find any reason why he's taking risk of losing his career just for a camera unless he's mentally unstable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I wonder why he would want to steal such a camera. There should be a reason.

Olympians and non-salaried are not millionaires. They are normal people like you and I. If it was a high profiled, rich athlete or celebrity, I highly doubt they would steal something as measly as a camera. Unless they are Winona Ryder of course....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Brian Wheway

precisely what I meant...he risked so much just to have a camera that he probably could have afforded to by himself

0 ( +1 / -1 )

that's what thief deserves for stealing while in another country. lucky for this japanese spared from thrown in behind jail bars.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So, he's banned from participating in the next World meet, banned from participating in the next Olympics, banned from participating in any swim competition here in Japan for 18 months, was fined $1000, lost his job, will lose any endorsement deals he's had to date, and was told to pay for his own way back to Japan? I think that's more than enough punishment if you ask me.

The main thing is...this guy will have to live with the infamy of being a thief caught red-handed in a country that supposedly abhors stealing and takes pride in thinking their citizenry to be above such base activities. For years to come, folks will walk up to him not to ask, "Hey, didn't you win the world championship years ago?" but rather to snicker, "Hey, aren't you that swimmer who stole a camera from some Korean journalist??"

Stick a fork in 'em....he's done.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

while the latter did it during an event at an international sports meet representing his nation. The latter does far more to damage the reputation of the nation and the spirit of the games.

smithinjapan -- but that's exactly what I said. Tomita got such a harsh penalty because he caused Japan to lose faith at an event in SK. He was an embarrassment to the country. Would he have been so severly punished if he had tried to steal a camera in Akihabara or at a meet in Japan? Most likely not.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So, he's banned from participating in the next World meet, banned from participating in the next Olympics, banned from participating in any swim competition here in Japan for 18 months, was fined $1000, lost his job, will lose any endorsement deals he's had to date, and was told to pay for his own way back to Japan? I think that's more than enough punishment if you ask me.

I agree. Give him a break. He's 25, not 45. Yes, what he did was wrong, but to utterly destroy his life over it would be wronger.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

since he committed a crime he even confessed to I don't see why he doesn't go to jail like everyone else - or at least get a suspended sentence, but get incriminated at least. are swimmers above the law...? (O_O)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's lucky he's not going to jail for theft

lucky for this japanese spared from thrown in behind jail bars.

He may not be so "lucky":

He was initially told he had to stay in South Korea until the case was resolved but was cleared to leave after being issued with a summary indictment and paying a fine of 1 million won.

He's been indicted. That means that a trial could still be forthcoming. Just because he's paid a fine doesn't mean his South Korean legal issues are over. You might as well treat that fine he paid as "bail" to get out of jail and the country before the decision to go to trial is reached. (Though, unlike an actual bail bond, he'll never get this fine back.) Will South Korea go to trial? Probably not due to the pain of getting him back in the country now that he's left. But they do still have that option.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I agree that his problems are just starting. But the contrast with Phelps is interesting. It would appear that Japan has stricter scruples than the US does. Just sayin'.....

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Just as expected, only a slap on the wrist.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

camera valued at 8 million won ($7,600) from a journalist working for a South Korean news agency.

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

It ix s csmera used by a journalist. Different than cheap cameras. Grand theft? Korean court is not mean for him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Someone talks TOO JUDGMENTAL as if he knows Tomita personally. Talking bout smith. How can you say he's committing more crimes? Everyone has the chance to change and live their lives anew. Well, as they say,

IT TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE.

He can change and turn his life around if he wants to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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