TOKYO (TR) – A man known to police as the “bathhouse bandit” is suspected in the theft of thousands of entry tickets for bathing facilities in Arakawa Ward and nearby over the past few years.
On Wednesday, Tokyo Metropolitan Police arrested Hideki Michibata, 66, on suspicion of sneaking into a public bath in Arakawa Ward between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. on November 10, 2015 and stealing 100 tickets worth 42,000 yen, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 22).
Michibata told police that he “can’t recall exactly which incident this is about, so I’d like to take my time and try to remember,” Fuji News Network reported (Mar. 22).
Investigators started calling Michibata by the nickname “Mitchy the bathhouse bandit” for his repeated targeting of old-fashioned bathhouses in Taito and Arakawa wards. The facilities typically store entry tickets in drawers.
Michibata is likely responsible for over 40 cases of theft in which the losses totaled nearly 800,000 yen. He is believed to have sold over 2,000 tickets to acquaintances in the San’ya area of Taito Ward. He then spent the profits on living expenses and entertainment.