Tsurumi Ward in Osaka has been the scene of a crime wave since November 3 in which two young boys believed to be in the fifth or sixth grade have stolen cash and property from six separate homes so far. The suspects are still at large, unless class is in session.

The boys’ M.O. is to target a home with elderly residents, ring the doorbell, and ask to use their bathroom. While one boy uses or pretends to use the toilet, the other steals whatever valuables he can find such as wallets or purses.

Over the past two weeks six homes in and around Tsurumi have been hit resulting in about 130,000 yen (US$1,060) in losses. In one house alone 90,000 yen ($730) was taken. The crimes only occur on weekends and weekday evenings which suggests the boys are indeed attending school, possibly to avoid arousing suspicion.

Police are still trying to track them down and encourage residents in the area to exercise caution in dealing with any school kids. This might also be a good time to remind parents to advise their kids not to ask to use strangers’ toilets anyway while we’re at it. Then people might find this behavior a little more suspicious.

Readers of the news had a lot to say about it – none of it good of course.

“These are Japanese kids?!”
“Japanese kids are capable of such daring theft?”
“Osaka sure is something.”
“Well, that’s Osaka for you.”
“Cheeky little s**ts! I hope they get caught and shown some guidance.”
“When caught, their names and addresses should be shown nationally. Doesn’t matter if they’re kids.”
“They must have big problems at home.”
“You can probably find these kids wearing fake gold jewelry and tracksuits at school.”
“These are the kind of kids they raise in Osaka.”

The reputation these criminals are giving to the fine city of Osaka alone is enough reason for police to step up efforts on their arrest. Everyone also seems to be overlooking the high possibility that an adult is coaching these two boys to pull off the thefts.

Whatever the case may be, if some children come to your home asking to use the bathroom, do as I’ve always done and just tell them to get the hell off your lawn – preferably with your bathrobe hanging wide open and a beer in your hand.

Together we can make a difference.

Source: Sankei West via Itai News
Top Image: Amazon, Wikipedia/Eclipse2009 (edited by RocketNews24)