Hokkaido: Suspected shoe thief sniffed before he swiped

in Noboribetsu
Surveillance camera footage shows a man sniffing shoes before stealing them at a school in Noboribetsu (Twitter)

HOKKAIDO (TR) – Hokkaido Prefectural Police have arrested a man who partook in a very unique custom before swiping pairs of shoes from a school in Noboribetsu City, reports TV Asahi (Apr. 12).

In January, Hajime Okazaki, a company employee living in Tomakomai City, one pair of female footwear from a gymnasium at the school, located in the town of Tonkeshi.

According to police, the school had experienced a series of similar thefts. After installing a surveillance camera, an examination of the footage showed a man crawling on all fours and stuffing pairs of footwear from a rack into a bag after sniffing each one.

“I am interested in the smell itself. Whether men’s or women’s [shoes], it doesn’t matter,” the suspect was quoted by police.

During the investigation, police searched the residence of Okazaki and found 28 pairs of shoes.

Police are now investigating the suspect over possible participation in other crimes.

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