Police catch fake hero who didn’t even try to catch thief for 73-year-old victim.

The Aichi Prefectural Polce report that on the night of July 30 a 73 year-old woman was walking through the Nakagawa Ward of Nagoya, the prefecture’s capital city, while carrying two handbags. Suddenly, a boy of 14 or 15 years of age came up behind her and snatched her belongs, sprinting off as his energetically youthful legs carried him off into the night.

But luck seemed to be on the woman’s side, as the crime took place in the sight of another young man of about the same age as the purse snatcher. “I’ll catch the thief,” he gallantly promised, “so wait here.” And with that, her would-be spry savior was off in hot pursuit.

However, the second youth never came back. Granted, being kind of heart doesn’t make you fleet of foot, and it could have been that the thief simply outran him. But even in that case, shouldn’t he have come back to tell the woman he’d been unable to catch the thief, considering that he’d told her to wait there at the scene of the crime?

In actuality, it turned out that the second boy hadn’t failed in his attempt at justice, but had succeeded in his secret criminal ambitions. When he didn’t return, the woman instead reported the theft to the police, and on September 19, the authorities announced that they arrested the boy who offered to help the woman, since he was in on the purse-snatching from the very start.

A total of three arrests have been made in relation to the incident: a 15 year-old Nagoya middle school student, a 15-year-old Nagoya high school student, and a 14-year-old middle schooler from Oharu, the town neighboring Nagoya (which specific role each played has not been made public). By having one member of the group offer to catch the thief, and telling the woman to wait where she was, they hoped to delay the report of the crime until they’d made their collective escape.

The three boys had become acquainted on Twitter, and when questioned by the police said they’d committed the crime because “We wanted money to have fun with.” They pegged the value of her stolen belongings at a very specific 15,200 yen (US$137).

It’s sad to think that the woman managed to simultaneously become the victim of a selfish crime and what outwardly appeared to be a random act of kindness. While this isn’t a common M.O. for criminals in Japan, it’s worth remembering that a genuinely moral person who recovers your belongings will turn them over to the authorities, who can then reunite them with you as long as the theft is on record. After all, in a world where you can’t even trust monster-fighting hero Kamen Rider to be on the right side of the law, your best bet is always to go to the police.

Source: Yahoo! Japan News/Asashi Shimbun Digital via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso

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