crime

Veteran pickpocket caught red-handed stealing wallets on bullet train

26 Comments

Police on Wednesday arrested a 61-year-old man on charges of theft after he was caught red-handed swiping wallets from passengers riding in the Sanyo Shinkansen's green car.

According to police, the Nozomi 26 was traveling between Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture and Okayama station in Okayama Prefecture when Kazuyuki Mizunaga allegedly lifted a wallet containing 53,000 yen from the jacket of a sleeping businessman.

Mizunaga, who lives in Fukuyama, was quoted by police as saying that he headed for the green car because "people going on business trips and the like tend to carry a lot of money."

Mizunaga is suspected of committing at least 10 similar crimes since last October, netting himself about 650,000 yen. Police said that Mizunaga has hinted at committing thefts on the bullet train for the past 30 years.

Reports of theft on bullet trains have been increasing and in recent times, police from Tokyo have been riding the trains. One such officer spotted Mizunaga in the act and grabbed him.

Mizunaga was quoted as saying, "I didn't think cops from Tokyo would head all the way down to Fukuyama."

© News reports

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

26 Comments
Login to comment

Nice work police!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"the green car"

That's the shinkansens' smoking car, right? Otherwise there's not much difference between the green car and the other cars.

Whereas the green car on the Tokaidosen is the only one where passengers aren't jammed in like sardines. Even if you managed to lift a wallet on the non-green cars on that line you probably wouldn't get much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although I've seen pickpockets mentioned in Japan guidebooks, this seems like a rare occurence. I guess sleeping Japanese make easy targets. The usual technique is to distract by jostling someone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's the shinkansens' smoking car, right?

No, Green Car is the equivalent of first class on the shinkansen. Only another 3,000 yen or so.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Green cars are reserved seats, slightly nicer but not by much. I believe it may help on busy days so you can have a guaranteed seat instead of having to stand if the other cars are full.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mizunaga was quoted as saying, “I didn’t think cops from Tokyo would head all the way down to Fukuyama.”

I think the fact that Mizunaga lives in Fukuyama and has done this for 30 years may have something to do with it. All the complaints finally caught up to this guy.

They need to make special laws for special people like this, to ensure career criminals hand back to society all the money they've stolen their whole life.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It still took thirty years to catch this guy, even if people were complaining? Damn, J-cops, just install security cameras on the trains or something. It would save you a lot of headache.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Damn, J-cops, just install security cameras on the trains or something. It would save you a lot of headache.

That's makes the J-Cops sound even more pathetic since most of the Shinkansen sets (at least the 500's/700's/N700's) I've been on the Tokaido/Sanyo line already have cameras in the saloon's and at the car doorways!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mrsynik: Oh man, tell me you're kidding! That's crazy! With the cameras they should have no excuse for not catching pickpockets!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cue the deep bow....the sincere apology....the wrist slap and finger pointing barrage from the police....50,000 fine and this case is closed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

check his crib and the closet pawn shop for the Rolexs too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I said, sleeping Japanese(and there are plenty to choose from) are easy victims.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Just to note the details, a reservation for a green car seat cost almost twice the regular reserved seats. So from Tokyo to Fukuyama, one way, regular reserved seats will cost 10,500 plus 6,470=16,970 yen, whereas green cars will cost 10,500 plus 11,110=21,610 yen.

The sad thing about Japan is, flying isn't going to take you any cheaper or faster in Honshu. Maybe free of pickpockets like this guy, but definitely not faster.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Seems to have been a pretty lucrative "business" for him to keep buying tickets just to ride and then pick the pockets of sleeping businessmen. He said he made about 650,00 yen in the past 6 months. Translate that to one year and you have over one million yen tax free minus the train fares. Not a lot of money, but, he could have been stealing cash on some local lines, who knows. Apparently, he has a home and may even be married. Imagine he's been telling the wife he's a businessman traveling all over the country by shinkansen for his job ("Honey, I'm heading off on a business trip. The lunch you packed looks excellent.")which is pickpocketing. She may have never had a clue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

30 years. Wow! Gotta wonder why he would 'hint' to committing possibly thousands of thefts. Anyway, that's a lot of pickpocketing. Glad they got him.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Easy pickings on the shinkansen too. I seem to remember salarymen almost always hang their jackets up or put it on a empty seat next to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bdiego The greensha is definitely MUCH better as far as space and comfort! as well as overall service of the bento cart ! and there are non smoking greensha! love 'em just wish I could afford them all the time!

Moderator: Stay on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, another criminal apprehended. Chalk up another one for the J-cops. They seem to be on a roll this week. Of course, everytime they catch someone they will be criticized.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese pickpockets! I'm thankful the police got him as now I don't have to worry quite as much about the "Chinese pickpockets" people told me about on the shinkansens. Nice going j-copos!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

61 years old. Wow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

bicultural said: Of course, everytime they catch someone they will be criticized.

If you look, you don't see much criticism do you? Just a couple posters suggested cameras, which STILL require cops to be on the train and further require someone to watch the cameras in real time.

I approve of staking out trains and so do many people it seems. Those cops can do a lot more than just look for one pickpocket. I do not approve of staking out closets though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This doesn't make sense: ...Police on Wednesday arrested a 61-year-old man on charges of theft after he was caught red-handed swiping wallets from passengers riding in the Sanyo Shinkansen’s green car.

According to police, the Nozomi 26 was traveling between Fukuyama in Hiroshima Prefecture and Okayama station in Okayama Prefecture when Kazuyuki Mizunaga allegedly lifted a wallet containing 53,000 yen from the jacket of a sleeping businessman.

WHO IS WHO???

On the other hand, he did take a risk to have a go on famous 'bullet train.'

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desperate times calls for desperate measures. People are losing jobs, can't find jobs or resort to crime for idiotic reasons.

Crime will is going up, wages are going down ( downsizing & cost cutting ).

Government should step up. Job market is totally dangerous and not enough jobs anywhere.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reports of theft on bullet trains have been increasing and in recent times [...]

Interesting. I wondered already why there is not a much wider problem with pickpockets in Japan. I have never seen more invitations to steal than in Japan ... women with unzipped bags, men with purses in their back-pocket, people with nylon rucksacks (hence easily cut), etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess I forgot to confirm that the "Greensha" is, in fact, FIRST Class

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, how tired or drunk must you be to not feel someone going through your clothes and taking out your wallet?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites