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Tokyo police nab pickpocket known for leaving wallets behind

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a notorious pickpocket who targets cash while leaving wallet behind, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 30).

At around 10:25 p.m. on July 27, Koji Shimizu, a 54-year-old company employee living in Arakawa Ward, allegedly used his right hand to steal 2,000 yen in cash from a wallet placed inside a tote bag belonging to a woman (26) inside a carriage of the JR Saikyo Line as it traveled between Ikebukuro and Shinjuku stations.

An officer on patrol apprehended Shimizu after he was spotted behaving suspiciously on a platform at Shinjuku Station. “With money being scarce, I resorted to pickpocketing,” the suspect was quoted by police.

Koji Shimizu
Koji Shimizu (Twitter)

In carrying out the crimes, Shimizu carefully rifles through the bag with his hand in searching for the wallet. After unhooking its fastener, he leaves it behind after removing the cash. This tendency is well-known within law enforcement circles, resulting in the nickname “Empty Koji.”