On January 5, Japanese authorities recovered a memory card planted on the collar of a cat on a small island near Tokyo by a hacker who has been taunting the police for months.
The memory card contained information on a computer virus used in a series of terrorist threats that resulted in the arrest of four innocent people last year.
RocketNews24 was on the scene when the card was found and we have documented the events leading up to the cat’s capture below.
Check our previous article for the full background story on how Japanese police found themselves chasing cats on an island.
＜RocketNews24 Presents: Kuzo & The Great Catscapade of Enoshima Island＞
■ 5:00 am – 6:30 am
We received a tip from the manager of Japanese crime prevention and information message board Yokoku.in that the culprit claims to have hidden a memory card in the collar of a cat. The cat is said to be somewhere in Enoshima, a small island to the south of Kanagawa Prefecture.
Not wanting to pass up a good scoop, we immediately sent our reporter Kuzo to Enoshima in search of the mysterious feline.
■ 6:30 am – 7:00 am
It took Kuzo about an hour by train to get to Enoshima from our office in Shinjuku. By the time he arrived, the internet was well awake and buzzing with the news that the cat was in Enoshima. Kuzo therefore expected to find the island crawling with police and civilians eager to help, and was half-prepared to give up the hunt before it even started.
■ 8:00 am – 8:30 am
Kuzo arrived in Enoshima at around 8:00. Taking in the beautiful scenery as he walked along, he made his way from the station to the upper part of the island where the cat in the photos was thought to be.
The island was indeed crawling with people — but more of the touristy than the sleuthy type. Cats were also walking about everywhere, and all of them seemed very comfortable around people.
After asking around, Kuzo learned that there were actually only four people searching for the collared cat: a police officer in plain clothes, an employee from Nippon Television Network (NTV), a normal male civilian, and our intrepid reporter.
The police officer instructed Kuzo to immediately report back if he found the cat, and not to touch or remove the collar. Picking up the cat was allowed.
■ 9:00 am – 9:30 am
Kuzo accompanied the police office to a botanical garden, where he told the staff he was conducting an investigation and requested permission to search the premises for cats. It seems the police had researched a number of spots where the cat may might be found, and was even coordinating his search strategy with another officer via wireless radio.
A tacit understanding developed among the four as they cooperated in the search, and while there were plenty of cats wandering about the botanical garden, none of them were the cat in the photos.
■ 9:30 am – 10:00 am
Kuzo and the NTV employee left the botanical garden and headed towards the area that the cat had been photographed in. Suddenly, the NTV employee began gesturing for everyone to come over — he had found the pink-collared cat.
The cat was very docile and didn’t run away when approached. In fact, it just sat there and stared at Kuzo and NTV employee as they videotaped it, completely unaware of the piece of evidence it carried on its neck.
Our heroes called the police officer over, who then reached out to take the collar off of the cat. Doing so, the cat suddenly tried to jump away, but not before the officer was able to get his hands on the collar and pull it off.
■ 10:00 am – 10:30 am
Kuzo entered a local cafe and got to work writing an article for our Japanese site and treated himself to a hard-earned cup of coffee.
Photos: RocketNews24, Original story: Kuzo
▼ Katase-Enoshima Station
▼ A beautiful day for cat hunting
▼ It’s about a 15-minute walk from the station to Enoshima island
▼ Walking through the downtown shopping district
▼ Lots of cats around, but none match the photos
▼ Here’s where the culprit is thought to have photographed the pink-collared cat
▼ And speak of the devil…
▼ Could that really be…?
▼ Why, yes, I think it is!
▼ They always return to the scene of the crime…
▼ The police office retrieves the collar
▼ Don’t worry guys, he’s a professional…
▼ Mission: Success!
▼ Another innocent victim in the hacker’s “game”
[ Read in Japanese ]