Aichi man who stole and replaced women’s shoes goes free after victims decline to press charges

Japan Today -- Apr 28
About two weeks ago, a man in Nagakuta City, Aichi Prefecture was arrested for stealing a pair of pumps that belonged to a music teacher. What made this theft even stranger was that when taking the shoes, he had replaced them with a nearly identical new pair.

The ensuing investigation found a further 20 pairs of women’s footwear in the suspects home, suggesting that he had done this several times. He had also admitted to police that he had exchanged the shoes because he enjoyed the scent of the used ones.

That’s how things stood as of April 10, but upon further investigation, new details have come to light about this thief’s modus operandi.

It turned out that the man would survey the shoe cubbies of his victims’ work place and take photos so that he could purchase a convincing pair of lookalikes. Then, after buying the shoes, he would break them in himself for a bit before making the switch, so that hopefully the victim wouldn’t notice.

It would seem this new information proved too much for the initial victim to handle, because the music teacher dropped the charges against him, saying that the details of the case were too “disgusting” for her.

She wasn’t alone either, after her story broke many other women came forward about their shoes feeling suddenly different and reported it to police. However, none of them were willing to pursue charges against the man for similar reasons.

As a result, on April 23, the suspect was set free and will not stand trial. The police have also determined that he was not stalking any of the women themselves, just their shoes, so they will not seek charges on those grounds either.

- Japan Today