A major anime goods and manga retailer, which posted a message online giving a shoplifter one week to return a stolen Tetsujin-28-go robot toy worth 250,000 yen or it would post a photo of his face taken from security camera footage, decided not to do so on Wednesday after the deadline passed.
The case generated a lot of interest among Japanese media and online where people were both for and against the decision by the store, Mandarake, to strike back at shoplifters.
However, a Mandarake spokesperson said police had asked the company not to expose the suspected shoplifter’s face online, TBS reported Wednesday.
The store, located in Tokyo’s Nakano district, said the robot was stolen from its 4th floor at around 5 p.m. on Aug 4. After the theft, the store examined surveillance camera footage and spotted what appeared to be a man putting the robot into a bag. It then posted the image online with the suspect’s face blurred out, with a message stating that he had one week to return the robot or his unpixellated face would be posted.
The deadline was Tuesday night, but the robot was not returned, TBS reported, adding that the blurred photo has also been removed from Mandarake’s website. Early Wednesday, a message on the home page said: “In accordance with an official request from police, we will not be exposing the suspect’s face.”
A police spokesman said that posting the photo and warning online had impeded the investigation.