A man wearing a gray jacket and black trousers enters the store, mindful of his surroundings. Only one elderly female employee was in the store. The man threatened her with a knife and said, “Open the register. Give me the money!” and robbed her of about 50,000 yen in cash. As he was leaving, he turned to the woman, nailed her with a nail, and fled on a bicycle.
Hey, don’t call the police!
On March 28, the Kamata Police Station of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department arrested Yasuhiro Inami, 41, an unemployed man of unknown address, on suspicion of robbery. He allegedly robbed a dry cleaning store in Kamata, Ota-ku, Tokyo. The suspect admitted to the police that he took the money and fled on a bicycle.
The incident occurred just after 4:00 p.m. on the 27th, the day before. A female employee in her 70s was at the dry cleaning store. The security camera captured the woman’s screams of “Oh my God!” and Inami running away on a bicycle were recorded on the security camera.
“The situation came to a head around 3:00 p.m. on the following day, the 28th. Perhaps thinking he could not escape after the security camera footage was reported in the media, Inami turned himself in to the Ueno Police Station, about 17 km away from the crime scene. I heard that he told them his motive for the crime was that he robbed the store because he was running out of money,” said a reporter from the society section of a national newspaper.
Hit 81-year-old store owner in the head with a machete
The scene was a residential area about 500 meters from JR Kamata Station. A neighborhood resident whom the reporter spoke with expressed his concern.
“There is an elementary school nearby, so there are many security cameras in this area. It used to be a peaceful town where trouble hardly ever happened, but things have become dangerous. There have been robberies in various places lately, which makes me very worried.”
There have been a series of robberies targeting the elderly in the neighborhood.
On March 20, 170,000 yen in cash and a bank book were stolen from a fruit and vegetable store run by a man in his 60s in Shinagawa Ward. On March 23, a man broke into a sushi restaurant only 300 meters away from the fruit and vegetable store and beat the 81-year-old owner with a machete-like blade, causing a fractured skull and other serious injuries that would take up to a month to heal. A 50-year-old male suspect was arrested for his involvement in both cases.
Similar problems continue to occur due to the high number of black market robberies throughout the country. In this case, a gang leader calling himself “Luffy” or “Kim” recruits perpetrators through social networking services and attacks elderly people and robs them of their money and goods. The perpetrators have been mercilessly assaulting the elderly, resulting in the death of a 90-year-old woman resident of Komae City, Tokyo.
Copycats may be committing these crimes. In January in Kure City, Hiroshima Prefecture, two men attacked a shopkeeper in his 60s with a hammer, took a necklace worth 300,000 yen and other items from a jewelry store, and fled. The 14-year-old boys were arrested on suspicion of robbery and manslaughter. The boys told the police that they ‘wanted to steal jewelry with their friends.’ It seems that they committed the crime without any deep thought.”
Robberies frequently occur by injuring the elderly. The perpetrators should keep in mind that a crime committed with a light heart can result in a heavy penalty.
PHOTO： Shinji Hasuo