Criminals are sometimes urged to return to the scene of the crime, but usually not this soon.

If you’re short on both cash and morals, knocking over a convenience store might seem like a good way to quickly fill your wallet. But while their registers full of cash and absence of dedicated security guards might make them tempting targets, robbing a convenience store isn’t always so easy, since you might find yourself having to contend with kendo swordsmen, startlingly strong women in their 50s, or clerks hucking giant paint balls at you.

So on October 16, a 19-year-old man in Niigata Prefecture’s Nagaoka decided instead to target a “recycle shop,” a store that deals in second-hand goods of just about any nature. His plan started out strong, as he entered the shop at around 11:40 a.m. and pretended to browse the wares. Taking advantage of a moment when the employees’ eyes were off him, the man slipped a speaker, which the store was selling for 18,252 yen (US$165) into his bag and nonchalantly making his escape by strolling out the exit.

So far so good, but now he needed to convert the hot speaker into cold cash. The obvious way to do this, of course, would be to sell the speaker to a recycle shop, since the second-hand merchants are accustomed to purchasing items without documented proof of ownership and generally pay sellers on the spot, in cash, thus minimizing the paper trail.

Ready to move into his endgame, the man removed the price tag from the speaker and headed for a recycle shop…or perhaps we should say he headed for the recycle shop, as in the exact same store he’d stolen the speaker from just seven minutes ago.

The man walked up to a clerk and said he’d like to sell a speaker. The clerk, showing off his completely ordinary memory capabilities, recognized it as having been in the shop until just a few minutes ago and promptly called the police, who came and arrested the man on theft charges.

Since legal adulthood begins in Japan at the age of 20, the would-be speaker scammer’s name has not been released, but the accused has admitted to the charges. In light of his stunning lack of criminal aptitude, we’d suggest he refrain from such illicit activities in the future, or that if he absolutely can’t walk the straight and narrow path through life, that he at least give up solo capers and join Team Rocket instead.

Source: Yomiuri Online via Otakomu
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he misses his old speaker from the 100 yen shop.