Suspect claims an interest in women’s restrooms drove him to commit the crime spree.

A three-month reign of creepiness came to an end in the city of Fukuoka on 29 September with the arrest of Sergeant Takashi Atsuchi of the Fukuoka Prefectural Police. The suspect currently faces charges of burglary.

A fun fact about the crime of “burglary” is that while we often associate it with stealing something, the legal definition often includes other crimes committed during unlawful entry as well. For example, going into a women’s restroom without permission and then clogging a toilet to the point that it is unusable can fall under the legal definition of burglary.

That’s just what Atsuchi had allegedly been doing at a Lawson convenience store in the Hirao area of the city’s Chuo Ward since July of this year. Staff at the store cited six different incidents of the ladies’ room toilet getting clogged, two of which required professional plumbers to fix.

▼ The investigation revealed that toilet paper had been used to cause the clogs

And each time the same suspicious-looking man was witnessed lurking around the restrooms. Also, when women came out complaining that the toilet was stopped up, the same man could be seen leering into the store from the parking lot outside.

▼ It is unclear if the suspect was aware that such a scenario is easily found on any number of stock photo websites.

It happened enough times for staff to remember the man’s appearance and license plate number, so when he returned at 9:40 am on 27 September and ducked into the women’s restroom, they immediately called the police to sweep in and make the arrest.

It was then that the suspect was discovered to be a police sergeant with the Community Safety Division. According to police, the 47-year-old police officer admitted to the charges saying, “I was interested in women’s toilets. I wanted to go in and see.”

It was bizarre enough of an exploit that it shocked a group of netizens who have already been desensitized by years of odd perversions.

“A guy who wants to watch women get upset because they can’t use the toilet is extremely gross. Clogging up toilets on purpose is just wrong too.”
“This guy is the worst of the worst.”
“People get labeled pervs so often that it’s really surprising to see the real deal.”
“Now I’m going to be extra concerned when I encounter a clogged public toilet.”
“How does one possibly get off on seeing a woman upset because she can’t use the toilet?”

That last question certainly is a doozy and a psychologist could probably write an entire book about the answer. However, something equally perplexing is why he chose that one particular Lawson convenience store to commit his crimes, especially since it was that very idiosyncrasy that led to his undoing.

Meanwhile, the Fukuoka Prefectural Police have issued an apology: “We deeply apologize to everyone in the prefecture for the inappropriate behavior by one of our officers.” They are currently investigating and considering terminating the officer’s employment.

And so, thanks to the keen detective work by convenience store clerks, another police officer is safely behind bars. As Japan stands on the cusp of unmanned convenience stores, we should perhaps take a moment to consider what such a future might mean for our public toilets without their valuable first line of defense.

Source: FNN, Asahi Shimbun, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso 1, 2
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