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'Devoted' Teacher Breaks into Former Student's Home

TOKYO, Jul 05 (News On Japan) - A 30-something male elementary school teacher has been arrested for breaking into the home of a female high school student who was once his pupil, using a spare key he had made five years ago. The teacher reportedly took the original key during a school event and secretly made a copy.

Teacher Uses Spare Key to Break into Former Student's Home, Causing Parental Concerns

On July 2, a 39-year-old male teacher from an elementary school in Edogawa Ward was arrested for breaking into the home of a female high school student, who was once his pupil, in May.

Parents from the teacher's current school expressed shock:

"He seemed energetic, friendly, and trusted by both students and teachers. This is shocking," said one parent.

The school held a parent meeting to address the issue.

"The teacher was a crucial member of our staff, and we trusted him. As principal, I have no intention of defending him. He has committed an unforgivable act," said the principal.

The teacher, who also served as the head of the school's guidance department, had been planning the crime for five years. During a school event five years ago, he took the key of his pupil's home to a nearby shop and made a copy without permission.

The teacher later transferred to another school, while the former pupil entered high school. The incident occurred this year.

On a morning in late May around 10 a.m., the teacher, dressed in black with a hat and mask, used the spare key to enter the high school student's apartment. At that time, the girl's father was at home.

"I heard a noise at the door and thought my daughter had forgotten something and returned. When I looked out, I saw a man with his shoes on in the hallway, about to enter the living room," the father said.

Upon seeing the father, the teacher fled and was later arrested. During questioning, he reportedly said, "I suddenly remembered that she was now in high school, so I decided to break in after five years. I had a crush on her since I was her homeroom teacher and wanted her middle school uniform."

Although the teacher has been released, parents raised concerns at the meeting.

"Is it safe for children to carry keys to school? What measures will be taken?" asked one parent.

The school responded, "We understand the nationwide concern this incident has caused. While we haven't devised concrete measures yet, we will ensure such incidents do not recur."

Parents of young children expressed their fears about the use of spare keys.

Keys and Safety Concerns

A 10-year-old girl commented, "I keep my key on my backpack," while her mother added, "The school advises us to keep it inside the backpack, but it's convenient to have it attached. We didn't imagine something like this could happen, so it's worrying."

The Danger of Duplicate Keys Made with "Key Numbers"

Kanai Tsutomu, president of Kanai Co., Ltd., a company specializing in locks and security products since the Meiji era, emphasized the importance of not only preventing keys from being taken but also the dangers of "key numbers."

"Most keys have a unique number engraved on them. If someone knows the key number, they can easily make a duplicate key using the manufacturer's data," Kanai said. "The key number is as valuable as the lives of the family behind the door."

Despite the availability of stickers and other products to obscure key numbers, people on the street expressed concerns.

A woman in her 20s said, "It's scary how easy it is to make a duplicate key if the number is known." A 43-year-old man remarked, "I had no idea. Now I know I need to be extra careful with my keys, especially when I'm drunk."

Safety Measures for Key Numbers

Fujimori Shohei, a news anchor, commented, "It's unthinkable that a teacher would take a child's key at school and commit such a crime. Protecting children is crucial, but this issue affects everyone."

Journalist Keiko Hamada added, "While online convenience allows us to order duplicate keys by simply entering a number, it also introduces risks. Strict ID verification when making duplicate keys or keeping children's keys hidden in keyholders or pouches could be necessary measures."

Hamada also mentioned, "In cases like stalking, even a photograph of a key could lead to unauthorized duplication. It's vital to change the lock entirely if such an issue arises."

Source: TBS

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