crime

Homeless woman arrested after living undetected in man's closet for a year

41 Comments

A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Fukuoka Prefecture after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man's closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.

"We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."

The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man's house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.

The closet is part of a Japanese-style room, one of several rooms in his one-story house where the man lived alone -- or so he had thought.

Police were investigating how she managed to go in and out of the house unnoticed, as well as details of her life inside the closet, and if she had taken anything else besides food.

She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and apparently even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

© Copyright 2008/9 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

41 Comments
Login to comment

Say what?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

wow, how could he not tell some woman was living in his house?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

either this guy is oblivious to the world around him, or this lady is a ninja!

I wonder what size this apartment was. If it is like the typical one here in Nippon, he would have problems not tripping over his own shadow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have heard strange stories in other countries about "uninvited guests" living in the attic. There was also a guy who lived in the roof of a supermarket, however, somebody is the closet is a bit hard to believe. Where would the "Boogeyman" live?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet she was a human version of Doraemon - that's why it took a hidden camera to catch her.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

she must be real ugly for him to be upset about it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The old man`s a bit senile. Its his wife.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is some crazy $&%^, funny as hell if you think about it. Seriously though, who doesn't go into all the rooms of there home every now and then, I'm mean come on...you didn't suspect anything?! I might have to agree with (HIMASAN), it may be true and they both don't remember each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

maybe if it was a woman in her twenties he would have pretended she didn't even exist...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Talk about coming out of the closet!!! And where in hell has she been doing her business for the past few months!? In the washing machine!?

A match made in heaven as far as I'm concerned.

S

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey, Paul Harvey! Where's "...The rest of the story"?

Dis don't add up!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is a bizarre story. Living in his closet, stealing his food, security cameras.. WTFO??

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it s maybe the worst history than i eared. how could you not notice than someone live with you. haha maybe must i check my closet. maybe a cute young girl live in.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunn

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I bet this woman must be exactly opposite of Ayako Nishikawa, who is asking for 40 million yen man. This woman is happy with food from ref and a space in closet!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember when I used to live in a closet in the Upper East side in Manhattan. Those were rough times.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm also intrigued by the logistics of toilet use.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japanese apartments have closets ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow, that is a new one! Food is missing from my refrigerator too, so I will have to check all my closets immediately.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Wow. Just, wow.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Closet" is a misnomer really. It's the place where you store the futons after you wake up in the morning. No hangers in there. And this woman actually was sleep in the narrow top rack of the futon storage closet. She must have had less than 5 millimeters of clearance from her nose if she slept on her back. It would make sleeping in a coffin look spacious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Dysfunctional Couple Act Out in Public"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I pity her...A woman in need of food and shelter..hope the Judge will judge her from humanitarian point of view and not as a criminal.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Who has a house in Japan big enough to have unused rooms?

This reminds me of a similar story I heard a few years ago about a Japanese woman living in some guy's ceiling. Is this going to become a new fad? The logical next step for freeters and parasaito?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I know there are some wacky charges in j-law, but I doubt that "living in a closet" is what she was arrested for. Probably criminal tresspassing and possibly theft. Headline-writers take note.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm with horangi, our overcrowded 3LDK wouldn't have anywhere for someone to hide out and eat our food. Maybe this guy lives alone in a big old house in the country somewhere and perhaps may not have all his faculties.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was the story of Edogawa Ranpo about a main living in a sofa-chair. Maybe she got the idea from there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Correction: ... about a man living in a sofa ...

... Edogawa Rampo ... 江戸川 乱歩, born Tarō Hirai (平井 太郎)

"The Human Chair" (人間椅子 Ningen Isu, October 1925)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

According to police, from time to time, the man noticed food missing from his refrigerator, so he installed a security camera.

How about locking the doors and windows?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Here's an article from Yahoo! that tells a little bit more about this story.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080530/ap_on_re_as/japan_closet_woman;_ylt=AqFI8Y_xt057w0NHJ1eIE_tvaA8F

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm guessing that maybe she did all of the bathroom and food stuff when he would leave for work or go to bed. There's a good chance she'd have the house to herself for at least a couple of hours a day if he lived alone. And I have two rooms in my house that currently aren't in use. I don't check those closets every month let alone every day...although I might start to now...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More info here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2054057/Homeless-woman-comes-out-of-closet.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Kind of weird that this story, out of all recent stories in japan is making news here in the states

0 ( +0 / -0 )

more info from foreign media than local...typical

0 ( +0 / -0 )

raymech1:

Not really. I mean bloody murders are regular newsfare over there too, but a woman secretly squatting in someones closet for a year? I have never heard anything like that before.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"How about locking the doors and windows?"

I guess he'd already tried that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I read this on Yahoo news!! XDDDD; I can't seem to understand why this woman would Hide in the Closet just to live there..Weird... >>;;;

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I feel so bad for that lady! She should of found another place to live not in anyone's home, but at least she didn't cause any harm. And she was clean so that should give her some good points. But more importantly why couldn't she have gone to a shelter? There's shelters over here in America! I'm sure they have something like that over there in Japan!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

While technically, a crime was committed, exactly what good is police involvement and a jail term going to do, even if for a few months? She'll be older and still homeless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well, she will have a slight larger closet now, called jail.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

should`ve robbed a bank at knifepoint or something if she really wanted a place to stay for a while.

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