Japanese authorities take a hardline approach to taking something that isn’t yours, no matter how insignificant it might seem.

On November 20, it was confirmed that a 64-year-old man had been arrested and fined after stealing a roll of toilet paper in Shimane Prefecture.

The incident occurred in September at a hospital in Okinoshima, located in Oki District, Shimane Prefecture. Okinoshima lies on an island off the west coast of Japan, and has an estimated population of around 14,849.

According to reports, the man was found guilty of stealing a roll of toilet paper from a male restroom at the hospital and fined 200,000 yen ($1,762.82). The toilet paper was valued at 30 yen (US$0.26).

Why the man chose to take the toilet paper from the stall remains unknown, but reports say the heavy fine for such a small-value item was due to the fact that this wasn’t the man’s first offence.

The story is currently making headlines in Japan, with net users around the country commenting on the severity of the punishment and recent cases of crimes committed by the elderly.

“He could’ve bought 6,000 rolls of toilet paper for that amount of money!”
“I’m surprised that we live in a world where people think it’s okay to steal toilet paper from a public toilet.”
“In Fukuoka a 53-year-old man was arrested for entering a home and taking a 50-yen box of tissues.”
“Poverty amongst the elderly is a problem that’s getting worse every day.”
“There are many cases recently of elderly people stealing, and experts say it’s due to current economic uncertainties.”

While it’s unclear whether the man’s financial state was the reason behind the theft, it’s safe to say that no matter what your age, Japanese authorities won’t act lightly when it comes to taking things that aren’t yours, even if it’s 30 yen from a shrine offertory box or a single grape from a fruit stall.

Source: Livedoor News 
Featured image: Wikipedia/Brandon Blinkenberg