Train pickpocket suspected of over 200 thefts
Tokyo metropolitan police said Friday that a man arrested for stealing a woman:s purse from her bag on a crowded train on Jan 18 has admitted to stealing items from train passengers more than 200 times over the past four years.
Police identified the suspect as Takayuki Okaniwa, 43, an unemployed resident of Tokyo. NTV reported Friday that Okaniwa was caught in the act of lifting a woman’s bag on the JR Saikyo line between Shinjuku and Ikebukuro stations. He was charged in that case with the theft of 25,000 yen from the woman.
Okaniwa was quoted by police as saying that he spent all the money that his father left him and that he started pickpocketing four years ago to make ends meet. He said he usually targeted women commuters on crowded trains on Friday nights.
Police said Okaniwa’s total take over four years was about 14 million yen.