Although online dating services allow you to peruse profiles of potential paramours from the comfort of your home, they can also be a prime opportunity for fraudsters who pray on the lonely. Last month, for example, we took a look at a ring of dating sites which claimed 2.7 million “users,” only one of whom turned out to be an actual female.

Thankfully, a man from northeastern Japan who joined a dating site actually got to go out with a real girl, and probably thought she was quite the catch, seeing as how she’s decades younger than him and a medical student. Regardless of whether he was looking for something serious or just a fun dinner out, we imagine he was having a great time right up until she drugged him right there in the restaurant and robbed him blind.

The unnamed man, a 52-year-old resident of Miyagino Ward in Sendai, the largest city in Japan’s Tohoku region, met 23-year-old Midori Kohama through a dating site. After exchanging messages, Kohama, a sixth-year student at Tohoku Pharmaceutical University, agreed to meet the man for dinner at an izakaya restaurant in Sendai’s Aoba Ward on the night of June 24.

Izakaya tend to have pretty extensive menus of alcoholic beverages and small plates of food to accompany them. However, they usually don’t have much in the way of dessert, so Kohama was thoughtful/devious enough to prepare a batch of home-made chocolate, which she presented to the man during their meal and encouraged him to try right there.

Honestly, this should have set off a number of warning bells. First, Valentine’s Day is the generally accepted time for women to give home-made chocolate to men in Japan, which made Kohama’s gesture about four and a half months too late. Second, home-made gifts on the first date is coming on unusually strong. Third, if someone offers you home-made food, but doesn’t take so much as a nibble of her own creation, there might be something fishy going on.

And most importantly, chocolate really doesn’t go very well with beer, the most common choice of beverage at an izakaya.

Nonetheless, the man partook of Kohama’s sweets, perhaps as an attempt to be extra-accommodating during their first meeting. Unfortunately for him, Kohama didn’t just put her skills as a cook into the chocolate, but her knowledge as a pharmacist, too, as she’d mixed in a generous dose of soporific drugs, or sleeping medicine. After the drugs took effect and the man passed out, Kohama relieved her date of the two ATM/credit cards he had in his wallet.

Police claim the student also stole 40,000 yen (US$325) from the man, and arrested Kohama on July 16. Kohama has partially admitted to the charges, telling the authorities “I wanted money. There is no mistake in the accusation that I took the cards, but I don’t remember taking any cash.”

▼ A photo released of Kohama

Disturbingly, Kohama seems to have been planning to make this sort of thing her summer job. She doesn’t appear to have all that much aptitude for it, though, or at least the “making a clean getaway” part. This is the second time Kohama has been taken into custody in less than a month, as she was also arrested on June 26 on charges stemming from a nearly identical crime in Nagajo City in Miyagi (the same prefecture that Sendai is located in).

In that incident, a 55-year-old man who went out to dinner with Kohama after meeting her through a dating site says she drugged him with chocolate and took 25,000 yen in cash along with two credit cards. Police say that Kohama was able to surmise that the man’s birthdate, listed on the driver’s license also in his wallet, doubled as the cards’ PIN, and subsequently ran up roughly one million yen in charges.

“Say ‘Zzzz’ – I mean, ‘Ahhh’!”

Kohama was similarly unrepentant after her first arrest, saying:

“I did it to punish perverted middle-aged men who let their money talk for them even though they’re that old…I did it to other men too. I wanted their money.”

We here at RocketNews24 would like to remind all our readers that despite the allure of its considerably higher per-hour pay, “life of crime” isn’t really a wise alternative to other, more traditional student part-time jobs such as working in a fast food joint or clothing store at the mall. And for all you guys who happen to find your date offering you some home-made confectionaries, don’t forget to share. Not only is it the gentlemanly thing to do, if it turns out the treats are laced with sleeping medicine, at least you’ll both doze off together.

Sources: Sankei News (1, 2) via Jin