Bold but non-violent robbery says a lot about the way convenience stores operate.

Twenty-four-year-old Ayane Okutani of Shiraoi Hokkaido was arrested for a daring daylight robbery of a convenience store from which she managed to take about 1.9 million yen (US$17,000). However, this robbery wasn’t “daring” in the sense of guns and knives or a high-speed car chase, rather it took a different kind of courage to pull off.

According to the investigation, Okutani allegedly entered a convenience store in Ichinomiya City, Aichi Prefecture and approached the clerk on duty. Telling the woman she was a newly hired part time worker, Okutani was led behind the counter and given a uniform, which she also stands accused of stealing.

Over the next hour and 20 minutes, Okutani is accused of taking the large sum of cash from the shop’s safe and registers before fleeing the scene. However, that was plenty of time for the store’s numerous security cameras to get a nice long look at her and make an excellent starting point for the ensuing police investigation.

They eventually made the arrest and Okutani is said to have admitted to the crime, and despite having her plans foiled, netizens were still quick to admire her chutzpah.

“I think that’s genius!”
“She’s like Lupin.”
“Wow she must have ice water running through her veins to pull that off.”
“Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for the victims… but that’s an amazing crime.”
“Nice try, but there was no way around the cameras.”
“Who’d have thought there was so much money in a convenience store?”

In addition to the large sum of money that happened to be there at the time, there is a lot about this theft that would indicate the suspect had an intimate knowledge of the way convenience stores work. For example, she must have been quite familiar with the staff turnover to expect to be welcomed as one so easily.

Because of this, her overall nerves of steel, and the fact she was cautious enough to hit a store over 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) away from home, police are suspecting that this is not her first attempt and are investigating Okutani’s connection to other robberies around Japan.

▼ Her hometown of Shiraoi is pretty far away from Ichinomiya.
That’s gotta be a killer getaway route.

Then again, not considering the cameras is strange. Even those with only passing knowledge of convenience stores know they’re generally blanketed with cameras. This means there’s a non-zero chance that she’s really just a complete Joker-like criminal madwoman who just committed this whole elaborate robbery on a total whim.

Those online would probably still find that pretty cool. Not me though; I prefer my mad-geniuses to use their powers for good, such as turning poop into wine.

Source: Tokai TV News One, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Flickr/DocChewbacca