"I suppose I must have broken into several hundred houses altogether. The last time, I felt like the house was calling out to me, as if saying, 'It's safe, now, come on in...'"
Career second-story man Hajime Karasuyama (a nom de plume) is telling Shukan Taishu (Dec 6) about his just-published autobiographical work -- "Shokugyo, Dorobo: Nenshu Sanzenman-en" (Occupation, thief: annual income, 30 million yen) -- which hit bookstores in mid-November. The book sports a humorous subtitle that reads "Kesshite mane wo shinai de kudasai" (Please don't attempt to imitate me).
"You know how a veteran male AV performer is familiar with female erogenous zones?" Karasuyama flippantly boasts. "Well it's the same way with thieves. Once we get inside a house, we have an instinct for knowing where the money's squirreled away."
The magazine comments that Karasuyama's book gives insights into the mind of a thief that the average person seldom if ever dwells upon.
Karasuyama says he once hired a car and chauffeur and entered a house he had targeted via the front door while dressed in a business suit, as if nothing were amiss. Who would have ever thought of such a ruse?
"I didn't want to get nabbed by the cops," says Karasuyama. "So I thought of a way that would make me seem less conspicuous." The chauffer doubled as his lookout, and having a car at his disposal was helpful in transporting the large booty. And needless to say, the car was ready to roll in case he needed to make a quick getaway.
New technology also works to a crook's advantage. Use of the electric motor in hybrid vehicles, for example, generates a minimum of noise, attracting less attention.
The book introduces other techniques unfamiliar to the general public, such as use of lock picks and a glass cutter that permits a house window to be cut almost noiselessly. A jeweler's loupe can be utilized as a reverse door scope to view a house's entrance foyer via the peephole.
A member of the police burglary squad concedes that the book is informative and well written. "Of course it would create problems for us if readers go out and commit crimes, but hopefully the contents will make them more aware of their own vulnerability and they'll take precautions," says the unnamed cop. "The year-end and new year holidays are coming up soon, and it's a time when a lot of homes are unattended. This book can be called educational in the sense that it teaches by negative example."
Shukan Taishu also invited a gang member who had previously worked with thieves to appraise the book. "A burglar, in a sense, is a kind of craftsman," the man says, in a voice tinged with admiration. "Perhaps because they don't talk much about their work, they might be disliked by some people. But those at the peak of their profession might rake in several million yen a month, and in this day and age, that's nothing to sneeze at."
"Most of what I know about crime -- including working as a thief and what I learned while in prison, plus likely future trends -- have been included in the book," Karasuyama claims.
The book, published by Fusosha, a member of the Fuji-Sankei media group, is priced at 1,260 yen.© Japan Today