crime

Woman caught shoplifting hangs herself in supermarket

50 Comments

A woman in her 40s hanged herself in a supermarket toilet in Tokyo after she was caught shoplifting food, police said Monday.

According to police, a supermarket employee in Kodaira saw the woman stealing groceries at around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Fuji TV reported that the woman was taken to an office and was being questioned when she requested to go to the toilet. She was escorted to a washroom where police say she proceeded to hang herself with her sweater.

According to police, the woman was found and taken to a nearby hospital where she remained unconscious Monday. Doctors have described her condition as critical. Police said they have not yet been able to identify the woman.

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50 Comments
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She must be hungry. Is this going to become more common once inflation starts Kuroda-ing the value of the Yen? Sorry lady, get well soon.

-6 ( +7 / -13 )

You have to wonder about the nature of her interrogation in the back office. I have seen some horrific stuff filmed behind the scenes there, where the vulnerable perp is threatened with a phone call to the police.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

So sad. First to be that desperate, then to be even moreso to attempt suicide. I hope, if she lives, that she gets the help she needs.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

I hope, if she lives, that she gets the help she needs.

In Japan? Not likely.

14 ( +20 / -6 )

She must be hungry

Could be from hunger, or from a compulsion

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Could be from hunger, or from a compulsion

@Ness

I thought about that.....but the hanging kinda swayed me

-1 ( +6 / -5 )

She might also have been absent minded and walked out without paying. Even more likely if she was already stressed about her life situation.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

CraigHicks: "She might also have been absent minded and walked out without paying. Even more likely if she was already stressed about her life situation."

You wouldn't commit suicide over a simple mistake. This woman has serious problems.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I hope she doesn't have young children. If she does, then she was probably trying to kill herself rather than deal with the humiliation and embarrassment. I hope she recovers and gets the help she needs.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time......

-26 ( +5 / -31 )

exactly what kind of "help"do you think this lady needs or deserves? you make it seem like she is entitled to money or psychological help because she stole. give me a break. what she deserves is jail time, nothing else.

-24 ( +3 / -27 )

Agreed, she deserves a good reprimand for her despicable behaviour.

If we were all allowed to steal because we were "hungry" then we would live in a truly bleak world..

Don't steal unless you're prepared to take the consequences.

-23 ( +2 / -25 )

Poor lady, something must be very wrong to need food like that. Hope she gets help and a chance to get back on her feet again.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

I doubt she did it because she was hungry. Most shoplifters (especially housewives and older women) do it because they're mentally disturbed it seeking attention or escape from their home lives

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Poor lady, something must be very wrong to need food like that

No money and she needs to eat. shame that there are so many desperate people (see also the photocopy yen story) in the 3rd largest economy in the world.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Plus 1 @ Tigerta9

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sadly, there is very little help for destitute people in Japan. I know that stealing is not the answer, but the lack of a supportive welfare system makes desperate people take desperate measures. As for the mental health issues of this woman, she has obviously been suffering depression and anxiety for a long time due to not being able to support herself. The lack of welfare support is enough to push anybody over the edge.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

@Droll Quarry: Don't do the crime if you can't do the time......

I have never read such a harsh remarks. I wish you good luck if you runs out of money someday!

7 ( +9 / -3 )

I always get followed in stores by surveillance staff as suspicious gaijin so I never forget to pay. it is really helpful. At a department store once the surveillance guy got a good workout keeping up with me and was pretty flustered when i told him that he was "ayashii" following me around. LOL.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@Mirai, seems like this one didn't like the attention

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If she's unconscious I'm sure she suffered some serious brain damage. She'll never recover from this. The worst suicides are the failed ones that causes permanent damage to your body. This is what suicidal people fear the most. The humane thing to do is to let her die.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I think the supermarket staff, who were just doing their job, deserve some sympathy. They must feel pretty bad.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The first thing came to my mind was "she wouldn't carry that shame on her name" after been caught of what she did as a big shame for the Japanese people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Did the article change or something? I see nothing where it says she was poor and hungry. Plenty of folks shoplift for the thrill of it - and it's a crime that I do believe is rising in Japan if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps she's a houswife who was bored? Either way, suicide is not the answer. Never is but folks here don't seem to understand that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

mitigating circumstances to steal out of desperate need from an well-off entity. No malice and no great harm done.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

in each crime, the judge examine the background and the circumstances and then decide whether to punish the person or to give just warning or to provide mental help. we should not pass the judgement, this is very important to know about her life and background.

it could be a case of a homeless family, if a homeless mother needs food for her children, how many options she has in this society? she can not ask individuals for help because it is not the custom here, she does not know where to go for help, in the case any thing can happen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

mitigating circumstances to steal out of desperate need from an well-off entity. No malice and no great harm done.

No great harm done? Tell that to her oxygen-starved brain.

Shoplifting is NOT one of those so-called "victimless crimes". Retailers like to euphemistically call it "loss", but the truth is that shoplifting affects anyone related to the store - from management on down to the customers. Management is berated by corporate over the loss percentage, employees are examined under a microscope to ensure they aren't the ones contributing to the loss percentage, and the customers are forced to pay more for items because the shoplifters have reduced the profit margin the store operates at - and the increased prices tempt more into walking out of the store without paying. I really get tired of the "they're a big company, they can afford it" mentality. You might have been right... IF that was the only shoplifter that store ever had and IF that was the only time that shoplifter ever shoplifted from there. That's never the case, though.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Come on... Japan needs a better social net. WTF.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Most foreigners give sarcastic remarks here and don't understand why a Japanese would kill themselves to save face.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I agree with you Mr. Jack Stern. Too many "gaijins" here being sarcastic and making fun of some situations. Yes, it's one way to save her face and people related to her. One culture I admire from Japanese if they commit things that will degrade their image. That culture is diminishing though.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

This is a very tragic story of desperation, rational or irrational.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Damn how much did she weigh? That must have been one sturdy sweater.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

At times I seen the TV show with hidden cameras where they go after shoplifters in Japanese supermarkets. Most of the time they do buy other items inside the store, but only steal weird things (with little value). They grab them once they leave the store and take them in the back for interrogation. Later they bring in the police. I seen one time when they let this old lady go, but they ban her from the supermarket. Most times the police just write them a ticket and send them on the way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Does anyone else find all these comments as fascinating as I do? We need more prayers for this lady and less on assumptions and accusations. After all, this is just a snip.it of what happened.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Save prayers divert funds for pleasant shelters & soup kitchens.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Most of the time they do buy other items inside the store, but only steal weird things (with little value).

Hence my comment above. They do it to seek attention, not because the are in need. Is a psychological disorder.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Apart from this unnecessary tragedy, the thing that comes to mind for me is whether shop staff are legally allowed to hold anyone under custody. Anyone knows about the legality of "Citizens arrest" here in Japan?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@eye they even do this in my country, but never left unsupervised.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@eye

Big grocery store chains usually have on site experts that monitor theft activities. These experts can identify certain behavior that is typical of a shop lifter and they will track the individual around the store with a camera or some other recording device until they leave the store. If they have sufficient evidence that the individual has indeed picked up item without paying for them, they can detain them until authorities arrive.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Oh my .. I hope the woman doesn't have kids waiting at home for that food.

I know its a terrible thought, but the number of parents who leave small kids alone just "to go to the supermarket" or "just leave them in the car for an hour while I run and play pachinko."

I hope they focus on indentifying her as soon as possible, and making sure she doesn't have any dependents waiting for her to come back.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Grim commentary ... Hope this turns out for the best all around.

May the lady recover; be given a job.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is primarily a police problem (although I don`t deny poverty may be the route cause of the offence). I know someone who manages a shop here, if they catch someone, it takes the police many hours to come, if they come at all, and often they refuse to actually take any action against the perpetrator.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh my .. I hope the woman doesn't have kids waiting at home for that food.

If she does, then you're thinking more about her children than she did when she decided to end her life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A woman in her 40s hanged herself in a supermarket toilet in Tokyo after she was caught shoplifting food, police said Monday.

Ask for government assistance before you commit crimes, they will help.

Sad, truely sad.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ask for government assistance before you commit crimes, they will help.

Sad, truely sad.

Thats the thing though - they will, after about 3 months of waiting and paperwork..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is it compulsory education in Japan to know how to tie a noose and hang yourself in any given situation? I find it astounding that these cases where people hang themselves are so common in such weird circumstances. Japanese people are like suicide MacGyvers.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

nandakandamandaApr. 22, 2013 - 01:33PM JST You have to wonder about the nature of her interrogation in the back office. I have seen some horrific stuff filmed behind the scenes there, where the vulnerable perp is threatened with a phone call to the police.

Oh that sounds horrible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

damn, i woulda borrowed her the dough

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Poor lady. Japanese society should have a heart for people like her!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

so whose gonna pay for her medical? insurance ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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