Two of three robbers now in police custody.

On Sunday evening, a group of three men attempted a smash-and-grab robbery at a precious metals shop near Okachimachi Station in Tokyo’s Ueno neighborhood. The heist was foiled when an employee of the store saw the robbers’ combined arsenal of three crowbars and responded by counterattacking with a man catcher polearm, causing the trio to turn tail and flee on foot, leaving the motor scooters they’d arrived on behind.

The on-foot escape route the three men took was down a street lined with jewelry shops equipped with security cameras, so their apprehension would seem to be largely a matter of time. But it turns out there’s an even speedier way to deliver justice than surveillance analysis or forensic investigation: a disappointed dad.

On Tuesday morning, the father of one of the robbers brought his son to a police station in Saitama Prefecture, which neighbors Tokyo to the north, where he was promptly placed under arrest for the crime. On the same day another member of the group turned himself in at a separate police station in Saitama and was arrested as well

As of this writing, the third criminal remains at large. While exact details haven’t been released, it’s possible that the two men who turned themselves in are the owners of the two scooters that were used in the attempted robbery, which they rode up to and then left right at the entrance of the store they targeted. Assuming the scooters could be traced to them and their home addresses determined via the vehicles’ registration, it’s likely that neither saw any remaining hope of escaping punishment for the crime. Both of the arrested men are 18 years old, which until recently would have made them minors, but following a recent revision to Japanese law both are now legal adults and can be tried as such.

Meanwhile, the dramatic video footage of the shopkeeper fighting the robbers off with a man catcher has grabbed people’s attention and sparked a rise in interest in the criminal submission apparatuses, according to the management of Sano Kiko a company that makes man catchers named after mythical beasts such as Cerberus and Orochi. However, not everyone is impressed with the shopkeeper’s technique. J-Cast News spoke with an employee of an unnamed Tokyo man catcher manufacturer, who gave the reminder that:

“Man catchers are not themselves designed as weapons. Fundamentally, they’re meant to be used by a team of multiple people [each with a man catcher] who [thrust them to] immobilize the person’s arms and legs. We cannot recommend swinging them around or using them for striking.”

The goal being to subdue the target is right there in the “man catcher” name, after all, and the manufacturer employee goes on to explain that in a one-on-one scenario, there’s a chance of the criminal turning the tables on the man catcher user by snatching the device away from them, especially if the criminal has a larger/heavier body frame than the man catcher wielder.

That said, when confronted by three armed attackers, a long pole is better than nothing, and it seems to have done the trick in this case. Still, it’s always best to weigh the potential risks before deciding to try to be a hero in a dangerous situation.

Source: TV Asahi (1, 2) via Hachima Kiko, J-Cast News via Livedoor News via Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/PRiMENON
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