Has your train ever been stopped because there was literally no brakes in it?

While Japan may boast one of the lowest crime rates in the world, its citizens are still capable of thievery, but the heists that make the news are some of the bigger and stranger ones. We may have found someone that one-upped the man who stole thousands of dollars of fish.

On the morning of May 26, staff at Shimada Station on the Tokaido Line in Shizuoka noticed one of the train doors was open. When they looked inside, they found that numerous items were missing from the driver’s cab from the previous night, including brake handles and the entire driver’s seat apparatus.

An inspection of the rest of the train revealed that door switches and safety devices were nowhere to be found on some cars as well, and since police found evidence that wires had been cut and screws had been intentionally loosened, the case is currently being treated and investigated as a robbery.

Even if you’ve never been inside the driver’s cab of a JR train, you can usually see inside the windows at the front or the back of the train, so you can probably see how complicated the whole setup looks. You might also know that the doors from both inside and outside the train cars are locked, so one would definitely need a key to break in. In fact, there is suspicion the perpetrator may have used a master key to break in.

The reaction from netizens has been mostly of outrage that someone would resort to stealing something that would affect so many people. It also hints that there might be a darker side to train otaku.

“This is a huge ‘derailment’ incident. Whoever did this isn’t a train maniac or fan – they’re just a thief.”
“People steal because there is a demand for it. Don’t buy this, train otaku. If you buy this stuff, it starts a market for stolen things.”
“This is kind of incredible, in a way. I wonder if they’re looking to sell it to other train maniacs?”
“I can’t believe someone would actually think and follow through with this.”

We have to agree with some of what’s said here – whoever did this likely didn’t do it as a spur-of-the-moment thing. They likely had intimate knowledge of both the Tokaido line trains and Shimada Station in general. We’re definitely not condoning the actions of the thief in question, but we do wonder why they didn’t target one of these luxury sightseeing trains instead.

Sources: My Game News Flash, Livedoor News, Yahoo! News Japan
Featured image: Wikipedia/Chabata_k
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