They don’t make them like they used to… back in 1908.

With many businesses and individuals struggling to make ends meet during the long pandemic, a rise in crimes such as theft seems inevitable. Even unlikely targets such as opticians must be on guard for break-ins.

Such a rude awakening occurred in the early hours of 8 January, when three burglars smashed through the glass front door of Vision Support in Kamakura City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The men seemed well prepared, as two of them quickly threw well over 100 luxury frames into a bag, and the third person headed straight for the register, before all exited the store within about 40 seconds.

All in all, the high-end frames they made off with were worth a total of about five million yen (US$48,000). However, the cash inside the store was untouched, thanks to the antique brass cash register that held it.

“There was money inside, but it seems that they couldn’t open it,” said owner Seiya Mori, “there’s a special way to open it.”

Judging by its appearance, Vision Support seems to be using a National Cash Register model from around the turn of the 20th century. Although it was made by an American company, their particular register looks like it had been designed for use in Northern or Eastern Europe where kroner were used as currency.

It was fancy enough to prompt many readers to wonder if the robbers would have been better off just taking the entire register instead of all those glasses.

“That register was probably the most valuable thing in there.”
“That’s like a Resident Evil puzzle.”
“I think those kinds are build into the table, so it’d be hard to take it.”
“That’s one of those old American ones. You have to turn the crank on the side and then the drawer will open.”
“The cash register is probably worth more than the money inside it.”
“Ah yes, such a machine can only be opened by the descendants of the King of Laputa.”
“There were three of them. Why didn’t they just carry the whole register out with them.”

Attempting to haul the entire register out with them probably would not have ended well for the thieves. Police are currently using roadside surveillance cameras to track them, and you can’t really get more conspicuous than three guys carrying a circa-1910 cash register along the street at 2:30 a.m.

…okay, perhaps they could, if they all dressed like the Hamburglar while doing it.

As for Mori, he has his own leads too, telling media, “I think I’ll look around online flea market sites.” Japanese frames tend to sell at a premium in other countries and are lightweight, making them easy to ship.

So, it would appear the noose is tightening around these suspects from various angles as they try to somehow move their pile of ill-gotten eyewear. At least, Mori can rest assured that his liquid assets are safe, because when it comes to security, what’s old is new again.

Source: FNN Prime Online, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Wikipedia/Kozuch
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