crime

Woman arrested for stealing ¥10,000 from sleeping passenger’s bag on train

21 Comments

Police in Saitama City have arrested a 56-year-old woman on suspicion of stealing 10,000 yen from the shoulder bag of a sleeping female passenger aboard the JR Keihin-Tohoku Line.

According to police the incident occurred at around 11:20 p.m. while the train was stopped at JR Omiya Station. The suspect, Mariko Nakagami, was seen entering a train that had just arrived at the station. Police said she sat beside a 29-year-old woman who was asleep, and lifted a 10,000 yen note from a wallet inside the woman’s open shoulder bag, Sankei Shimbun reported.

A police officer on patrol on the platform noticed Nakagami’s suspicious behavior as he peered through the train’s glass window. He arrested Nakagami before the train departed.

Police said Nakagami has denied the charge and quoted her as saying she “doesn’t know” how the cash came to be in her possession.

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21 Comments
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Rare example of a police officer being in the right place at the right time.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Two things at play here, one the open shoulder bag, the other the Japanese tendency to sleep absolutely anywhere on public transport.

Just goes to show, even in low-crime Japan you can't completely ignore your personal security.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

When you this kind of item as news, it shows you what a safe country you are living in. Thanks, Japan!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

@BertieWooster

When you this kind of item as news, it shows you what a safe country you are living in. Thanks, Japan!

Just because there isn't news of crimes in Japan's news doesn't necessarily mean there isn't a lot of crime happening. 1) J cops usually avoid risky situations and rarely 'walk the beat.' Sure, they'll patrol on motorbikes and in cars, but actually walk around an area of town? Ha, fat chance. It's not surprising to see a pack of cops milling about outside a koban while steps away various laws are being broken. 2) It's common in Japan for victims to not report petty crimes because they don't want to inconvenience anyone. Victims are thought to be complicit in their own demise here. Don't want to feel like a criminal? Don't report a crime. 3) People assume Japan is a safe country and so just assume that guy walking out of the electronics shop actually bought that monitor he has tucked under his arm. 4) Spacial/Situational awareness is not a common attribute in Japan. Many are in their own world and don't notice lawbreakers. Remember those powerlines you thought were so ugly when you first came to Japan? Don't notice them so much now that you've learned to keep your gaze within a (heavy) stone's throw and not on the horizon. To sum up: I see multiple laws broken daily in Tokyo and nothing is done about it. There must be some serious crime slipping through the cracks as well.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@TIJ

here’s anecdotal evidence to counter your clams.

1) I see police walking all the time

2) I know Japanese people who have reported crimes in Japan

3) uh, how many guys have you seen walking out of an electronics shop with a monitor tucked under their arm? Me? None in 22 years.

4) maybe people don’t have situational awareness because generally it’s not necessary. I know mine is at an all time low because I don’t need it.

Back in Canada, I was assaulted more than a few times, my apartment was burglarized, my car was broken into, etc. In Japan? Nothing in 20 years, unless you count the one time I was attacked by a drunk at the train station. He was British.

I don’t know. Does it make you envious that Japan is safer than your own country? There is crime in Japan, obviously, but not at the level it is in Western countries. Why is it so hard to admit?

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Both are idiots

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I don't know how the cash came into my possession. Seems plausible.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I’m not blaming the victim, if you are gonna sleep on the train, at least make sure your valuables are secure.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've not seen Police officers on platforms that often. How come he just happened to be there ? Anyway, good catch if so, (excuse the pun). Wish other Countries - notably the UK were able to say that they were able to do such things though Police being ... just around.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

[Police] quoted her as saying she “doesn’t know” how the cash came to be in her possession.

:-)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

mmwkdw - I've not seen Police officers on platforms that often. How come he just happened to be there ?

There are many police patrolling trains late at night these days, especially in Saitama. Japan has become a lot more than sushi and cherry blossoms in recent years. There is a lot more violent crime on trains and at train stations these days.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

More proof, as if any is needed, that crime is rising.

Japan has always had a reputation as being 'safe' with anecdotes of strangers finding their lost wallet and purses still untouched where they last left it, or safely with some attendant.

Not anymore.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

More proof, as if any is needed, that crime is rising.

According to the annual crimes figures issued every year by the National Police Agency, the crime rate has been falling for some years.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

2 years ago when I was travelling in Osaka to Kyoto I stupidly left my shoulder bag on the train. The JT West staff did a wonderful job helping me. (I am forever in debt to them, I gave the guy a 90℃ bow to thank him). Luckily after 6 hours someone handed it to the JR Lost and Found counter at the Osaka station. When I opened my bag my passport was inside (thank God cause I was flying out of Japan the next day). My 8 year old digital camera which I did not use much was inside. The very important rental wifi router was inside. Everything's were inside except the ¥2,000 cash I put away for the train trip to the airport. I was a bit disappointed. However, I still believe crime is low in Japan and it is a much safer country than many other countries in the world.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’m not blaming the victim, if you are gonna sleep on the train, at least make sure your valuables are secure.

2 weeks ago when I was in Japan I went to a big food court inside a big shopping centre in Odaiba. The guy sitting next to me was eating a bowl of ramen when he suddenly wanted more water. So he stood up, left his wallet and phone, on the table, and walked to the water station which was more than 10 meters away. There was no way he could keep an eye on his belongs. I could just grab all his things and ran away. I had witnessed people using their hand bags at Starbucks to reserve seats. However, not everyone is so careless. Some would use their coats or other less important items to reserve their seats.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I've not seen Police officers on platforms that often. How come he just happened to be there ?

Actually, there are police everywhere the first few weeks of April each year out on patrol at stations, sidewalks or street corners.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@sourpus

here’s anecdotal evidence to counter your clams.

1) I see police walking all the time

2) I know Japanese people who have reported crimes in Japan

3) uh, how many guys have you seen walking out of an electronics shop with a monitor tucked under their arm? Me? None in 22 years.

4) maybe people don’t have situational awareness because generally it’s not necessary. I know mine is at an all time low because I don’t need it.

Back in Canada, I was assaulted more than a few times, my apartment was burglarized, my car was broken into, etc. In Japan? Nothing in 20 years, unless you count the one time I was attacked by a drunk at the train station. He was British.

I don’t know. Does it make you envious that Japan is safer than your own country? There is crime in Japan, obviously, but not at the level it is in Western countries. Why is it so hard to admit?

1) I don't see police walking all the time. Anecdotal evidence countered.

2) I know many Japanese and seen many Japanese who haven't bothered reporting a crime. Anecdotal evidence countered.

3) Yes, I have seen a guy steal a monitor in Tokyo. I go to 2nd-hand shops 2 or 3 times a week in Tokyo and see at least 2 thefts EVERY VISIT.

4) I was a loss-prevention specialist through university and was requested by stores all over the Pacific Norwest to come to their businesses to take care of shoplifting and "grazing" (people who eat supermarket food while supposedly shopping and then leave without paying) that got way out of hand.

5) I was never a victim of a crime in the US or Canada. Anecdotal evidence countered.

Now, about your query regarding me prefering one nation over another. I have no country. I live where I live because there is a river and some mountains near by (West Tokyo). I don't have a whole-hearted preference for one nation. In my comment, I stated that one cannot claim a country is exceptionally safe just because there are few reports of crime in the news. It's called mistaking correlation for causation. I made a logical argument, not a national preference. Not everyone fits in convenient (small-minded) boxes labeled by nationality, political leaning, etc.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

BertieWooser: "When you this kind of item as news, it shows you what a safe country you are living in. Thanks, Japan!"

And when people feel the need to say this out loud you know they are fooling themselves. Thanks for the humor, Bertie.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Police said Nakagami has denied the charge and quoted her as saying she “doesn’t know” how the cash came to be in her possession.

This has got to be one of the lamest things I heard as an excuse in the long time. I really would have liked to heard the Japanese here.

Why didnt she just say it was hers? 10,000 is not a whole hell of a lot of money, and it would not be unusual for someone her age to actually have that much on them.

Probably more like the cops putting words in her mouth!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Gosh, what a lot of suspicious and gloomy people there are around! All I wanted to say was that I thought that the theft of 10,000 yen being a newsworthy item showed the relative safety of this country. I didn't say that I thought there is NO crime in Japan, but there is considerably less than many other places I've lived in.

I never lock my car and often leave my wallet on the dashboard or passenger seat and in 45 years have NEVER had ANYTHING stolen. I've never been or seen or heard of anyone being mugged. At the everyday level, this is easily the safest place I've lived in.

I wish the same went for life at a higher level. Japanese politics is rife with corruption, but that goes for almost everywhere.

I'm grateful to be able to live in a country where it is safe, I don't have to worry which streets I walk down and who is walking behind me.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

TIJ

well then, sounds like you’d better start carrying a gun with all that crime and lack of policing. I’m surprised you’re actually living in such a place. Sounds like the Wild West!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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