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Maciamo
Aug 1, 2002, 23:50
This is from the Lonely Planet site : http://www.lonelyplanet.com/scoop/archive.cfm?DPID=437&region=asi

30 July '02
Shoplifters Targeting Food
Japan's tough times are being reflected in what shoplifters are taking off the shelves - 10 years ago, the typical shoplifter was stealing branded goods from department stores, but now the top targets are food items at supermarkets, grocery and convenience stores. Shoplifting rates are soaring in Japan, highlighted last week by the fatal stabbing of a convenience store manager who was trying to nab a man for shoplifting. The case has received huge attention in Japan, after it was revealed that the man was unemployed and had stolen two buns and two rice balls worth 550 yen (US$5). While cases of shoplifting officially rose only 12 percent in 2001 compared to the year 2000, reports warn that the real incidence of shoplifting may be 10 to 20 times higher because many stores do not report the crime to the police. In a recent television special, a mini-mart owner allowed cameras to be installed at his suburban Tokyo store for several days. At least 20 shoplifters were caught on film, most of whom cited economic difficulties as the reason for their actions. Despite some rosier economic results recently, unemployment stands at about 3.75 million people in Japan. About half of the 31,000 people who committed suicide in Japan last year were unemployed.

thomas
Aug 3, 2002, 07:06
I wonder if the rising (?) amount of criminality can solely be blamed on economic recession. What a handy excuse to explain suicides and shop lifting...

moyashi
Aug 3, 2002, 19:44
hehe, all kinds of shows on TV have spot lighted this.

Nothing over US $10 ... fish, soy sauce, [nori] seaweed, really ridiculous items. Hell, I'd grab some of the steak before a bottle of soy sauce.

Many stores employee [baba]s (old hags) to work the aisles for potential suspects.

Many of the shop-lifters actually buy about 2 bags worth too. So, hit and run isn't the norm. Cutting a small corner more likely.

The convenince stores are shop lifting heaven. Hell, I've been to shops where I could've walked off with the cash register. After hollering [sumimasen] Excuse me loudy 3-4 times, I had to go to back room to find somebody to ring up my purchase.

secret.... not many stores actually record to tape.

Just for the record. I've never shop lifted in Japan. Not saying I've never done it in my life, though. In Japan, it's just too easy. Toliet Paper and cleanser outside of stores with nobody watching. Just grab and walk. Something about the trust factor, I just can't break that.