She was a 27-year-old fashion model with a slender, shapely body and exotic looks. According to Shukan Jitsuwa (Mar. 17), the combination proved to be too enticing to pass up for an elderly man in Wakayama Prefecture — at least, until she robbed him blind.
Last month, Wakayama police arrested Mari Miyahara for stealing six million yen in cash and 29 pieces of jewelry (including a bracelet and high-end wristwatch) valued at 54.5 million yen from inside the home of the man, 74, in Tanabe City.
Miyahara denies committing the crime, which took place on January 28 of last year. “He said, ‘Go ahead, take it with you,’” she was quoted by police. “I didn’t steal anything.”
Miyahara is a resident of Tokyo’s Shinjuku Ward. Shukan Jitsuwa says the pair became acquainted in 2013 through a service known as a “dating club.” (Though previous news reports claimed that they got to know one another through a friend.)
“The dating club system works like this: The fee for two nights runs 600,000 yen,” says a local news reporter. “Typically, this entails a trip to a resort or other such pleasure spot. Fees for hotel rooms and meals are, naturally, picked up by the gent on behalf of the escort.”
The pair had been together on such trips on roughly previous 20 occasions. On the day of the crime, the two were scheduled to visit an onsen hot springs. The night before, she stayed at his residence.
“He left the residence for a four-hour period,” continues the reporter. “When he returned, she was nowhere to be found. He soon after noticed that the items were missing. He was actually more angered about being stood up than the loss of the items.”
The man in question is extraordinarily wealthy. He has his hand in businesses in the real estate, consumer lending and agriculture industries. According to acquaintances, his amassed assets, including a palatial residence in Tanabe, amply adorned with works of art by the likes of Tsuguharu Foujita, Chagall and Renoir, have made him a local celebrity.
Was such overt opulence too tempting for Miyahara?
A journalist covering the entertainment business says that she was previously with a modeling agency whose Web site listed her as having Norwegian and Japanese parentage. She made her debut as a model after graduating from high school at the age of 18.
“She was indeed a model at the time, but it appears her career has languished shortly thereafter,” says the journalist, “and she registered with the dating club in order to make a living.”
Source: “74-sai shisan kataku kara 6 sen man-en soto wo nusumidashita haafu bijo no shotai,” Shukan Jitsuwa (Mar. 17, page 44)