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Love hotel bandits foiled in ¥66 Ikebukuro caper

Shukan Jitsuwa Oct. 18
Shukan Jitsuwa Oct. 18

On March 10 at 9:05 a.m., two men threatened a 56-year-old female staff member of a love hotel in the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. The pair, identified as Yasushi Sawamura, 56, and Norikazu Hayashi, 36, demanded that the woman hand over whatever cash was on hand.

Shukan Jitsuwa (Oct. 18) reports that the suspects were tracked down by police in July and placed on trial at the Tokyo District Court in September.

A reporter for the tabloid listening in on the court proceedings actually cracked a smile upon hearing the details of the accusations facing the defendants.

“The two clearly came across as bad boys,” says the writer. “Sawamura sported a sweatshirt and tinted shades, while Hayashi’s tattoos were very visible through his tight black t-shirt.”

The two allegedly wore masks and carried knives as they entered the hotel on the day of the robbery. The staff members mouth was covered as they laid out their demands. But the amount they escaped with was…not even enough to purchase a can of coffee.

“It was 66 yen,” says the aforementioned reporter. “An amusingly low figure, right? While the front desk actually had 660,000 yen in the til, the two failed to spot it before making a run for it.”

That plastic bag contained the 66 yen, all in one-yen coins. Further, they managed to lose all of their ill-gotten gains as they fled, dropping the contents of the bag onto the street outside the hotel.

The two denied the accusations, saying they didn’t steal 66 yen, threaten the woman, or cover her mouth.

“While indeed there was no financial loss, it is nonetheless a robbery, one in which the amount was 66 yen,” says the reporter. “If found guilty, they will face prison sentences of at least five years. As both have prior criminal records, it is likely that they will indeed serve time.”

Shukan Jitsuwa expects a long-term court battle as the culprits deny any wrongdoing. Plus, who could live down doing time for pocket change?

Source: “Wari ni awanai!? Loveho 66 en goto,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Oct. 18, page 202)