All of the weaponry, none of the class.

There are few thieves as endearing as anime star Lupin III, who despite taking things that don’t belong to him, has a certain love of life that’s hard not to respect in some way. It’s also no wonder that his name has become synonymous with a certain masterclass of criminal.

But not everyone can live up to such an elite standard of thievery. Such is the case with Masafumi Hijikata of Suginami, Tokyo, who decided to become his own unique brand of gentleman thief.

According to police, on 8 September Hijikata allegedly entered a convenience store and pointed a Walther P38 – the very same pistol used by Lupin III – at the clerk demanding money. He then fled with about 98,000 yen (US$900) in cash.

▼ Walther P38

Up to this point the caper, while lacking the suave fun of a Lupin III heist, was a success. However, Hijikata made the classic mistake of returning to the scene of the crime. He also really owned this classic mistake by returning drunk and standing outside the store while making strange gestures as if pointing to himself.

The same clerk who was involved in the robbery recognized Hijikata and called the police who quickly swept in and made the arrest. The Walther P38 was in his possession at the time and found to be just a model.

▼ Replica Walther P38

Although Hijikata is denying the charges against him, police presumably couldn’t help but ask “So…what’s up with the gun?” The 40-year-old is reported as telling them that he had the pistol because he likes Lupin III.

Gun-point robberies alone aren’t very common in Japan, but the fact that the weapon of choice in this incident is one usually reserved for Lupin III or Indiana Jones villains made the police’s job so much easier. They are currently investigating similar robberies in the same area, using the same weapon, both before and after the convenience store job.

News of the crime sent a shock wave of facepalms throughout the internet.

“That’s utterly embarrassing.”
“Some people love Lupin a little too much.”
“Wait. Lupin doesn’t knock off convenience stores.”
“NRA: ‘Manga and anime have an adverse effect on people!'”
“If someone is still using a Walther P38, you can pretty much assume right away that it’s a model.”
“When mid-life crises go bad.”
“It’s just like Lupin to make you think he’s a drunken idiot. He’s probably planning to steal something big from the police department. He just needed to get inside…”

That last comment makes a compelling theory. We might also assume that the suspect was going for the kind of gritty reboot that’s popular these days, like that Joker movie.

Despite his heritage, Lupin III couldn’t have started out as a master thief. He probably got his feet wet with a few petty crimes here and there, maybe hitting the bottle a little too much along the way.

It’s a point worth considering for any gentleman-thief-wannabe that it would take far more effort than is worth it, and likely end in an embarrassing drunken arrest with a toy gun. We’d all be better off living out our Lupin III fantasies by buying an expensive suit or going to Universal Studios Japan.

Source: Sankei News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: ©SoraNews24
Inset images: Wikipedia/Bruce C. Cooper, Pakutaso