At about 6:00am on 26 December, a young woman was walking down a street in Nakano, Tokyo. Suddenly, she was confronted by a man brandishing a knife and threatening, “Get out all your money and nothing will happen.”
The woman in her 20s complied and passed over 3,000 yen (US$30). You’d think the crime would be nearly complete, but in a truly Columbo-like moment the woman had just one more thing to ask the mugger.
It’s uncertain if what follows was just a reflex action by the victim. Perhaps she had enough ice water pumping through her veins to keep her wits about her in this situation. Either way, according to reports this is the conversation that followed the mugging.
Woman: “Um, could you give back 2,000 yen ($20)? I have a bill to pay.”
Mugger: “Oh, really? I see.”
He then promptly gave back the 2,000 she asked for and made off with only 1,000 yen ($10). Netizens reacted saying, “Hahaha! I probably wouldn’t have reported him if it was me” and “He’s probably a nice guy deep down.” Others disagreed saying, “If he was such a good guy then he wouldn’t have tried mugging people in the first place.”
However, Tokyo Metropolitan Police are not treating him as a good guy in a funny situation and are trying to track the suspect down for armed robbery. The suspect is a male in his 20s or 30s, about 175cm tall (5’9″) and was wearing a black jacket and blue knit cap. Police believe him to be armed, dangerous, and open to negotiation.
▼ Scene of the robbery