Tag: ‘Crime’

‘Mosquito’ teen repeller fails to stop vandals

24 Jun 2009

The Mosquito in Adachi ward, Tokyo --

A vandalized toilet at Kitashikahama Park in Tokyo's Adachi ward is raising questions about the effectiveness of the park's controversial new "Mosquito" alarm -- a device designed to repel teenagers by emitting an obnoxious high-frequency tone that only they can hear.

The Mosquito, which was installed at the park on May 21 to discourage teens from hanging out there after hours, now operates every night from 11:00 PM to 4:00 AM. The device produces a high-pitched tone of around 17 kHz, which is unbearable to teen ears. The sound has no effect on older people, as the ability to hear high frequencies declines naturally with age.

The broken toilet, which was discovered on the morning of June 21, appears to have been smashed with a baseball bat. Spent bottle rockets were also found at the site.

Surveillance camera footage showed what appeared to be as many as seven teenagers hanging out in the park in the early morning hours of June 21, while the Mosquito was in operation. Authorities were unable to determine whether the teens in the video were responsible for the vandalism.

According to Adachi ward officials, teen vandals inflicted 700,000 yen ($7,400) worth of damage in the park last year. Unable to solve the problem with extra patrols, the authorities began searching for new measures. They eventually turned their attention to the Mosquito, which is already in use at some Tokyo-area convenience stores plagued by loitering teens.

The prospect of using the Mosquito has been controversial, and critics question whether it is in the city's interest to use such a device that discriminates against young people as a group, even if they are responsible for causing problems. In the end, the officials decided to test the device at the park until March 2010.

The smashed toilet is first case of vandalism at the park since the Mosquito was installed.

[Source: MBS]

Man charged with dumping silicone girlfriend

17 Sep 2008

Silicon sex doll dumped in woods --

Breaking up is hard to do, and few know this better than a lifelike sex doll owner who Shizuoka police have charged with illegal dumping.

On August 21, the 60-year-old unemployed resident of Izu (Shizuoka prefecture) wrapped his 1.7-meter tall, 50-kilogram silicone girlfriend in a sleeping bag, drove to a remote wooded area, and dumped her. A nice, clean break, he thought.

But nearly two weeks later, on September 1, a couple alerted police after discovering what appeared to be a corpse while walking their dog. The body had been wrapped in a bag and bound around the neck, waist and ankles. A head of black hair protruded from one end of the bag.

Police retrieved the body and immediately launched a criminal investigation. But several hours later, when forensic pathologists began to unwrap the "corpse" to perform the post-mortem, they realized it was actually a state-of-the-art sex doll. Seeing themselves as victims of a malicious prank, the authorities vowed to track down the perpetrator and charge him with interfering with police business.

The incident quickly captured the attention of the national (and international) press. After seeing the news reports, the culprit realized the trouble he had caused and contacted police on September 6.

According to investigators, the man had lived with the sophisticated doll for several years after his wife passed away, but decided to part with her after making plans to move in with one of his children. "It seems he grew attached to the doll over the years," said the chief investigator. "He was confused about how to get rid of her. He thought it would be cruel to cut her up into pieces and throw her out with the trash, so he proceeded to dump her illegally."

The man, who regrets his lifelike doll was mistaken for a corpse, now faces fines for violating Japan's Waste Management Law.

[Source: ZAKZAK, Yomiuri]

Kaibo Zonshinzu anatomy scrolls (1819)

25 Apr 2008

The Kaibo Zonshinzu anatomy scrolls, painted in 1819 by Kyoto-area physician Yasukazu Minagaki (1784-1825), consist of beautifully realistic, if not gruesome, depictions of scientific human dissection.

Kaibou zonshinzu --

Unlike European anatomical drawings of the time, which tended to depict the corpse as a living thing devoid of pain (and often in some sort of Greek pose), these realistic illustrations show blood and other fluids leaking from subjects with ghastly facial expressions.

Kaibou sonshinzu --

The fact that the bodies used in scientific autopsies in Edo-period Japan generally belonged to heinous criminals executed by decapitation adds to the grisly nature of the illustrations.

Kaibo sonshinzu --

According to the Keio University Library (where these documents are currently stored), the two scrolls contain 83 illustrations based on Minagaki's observations of over 40 bodies. They are regarded as the best collection of early 19th-century anatomical drawings by a Japanese hand.

Kaibosonshinzu --

The first scroll includes a handwritten compliment by Philip von Siebold, the German physician credited with being the first European to teach Western medicine in Japan, who was reportedly impressed by the quality of the drawings when he observed them in 1826.

Kaibozonshinzu --

Siebold's note, in Dutch, reads: "This anatomical research has been carried out with great diligence and should therefore achieve great recognition."

Kaibouzonshinzu --

In 2003, Japan's Ministry of Culture designated Kaibo Zonshinzu an important cultural property, saying that the scrolls, which were produced as a result of actual observation and based on Dutch scholarship, demonstrate the level of knowledge that medical science reached in the Edo period.

Kaibousonshinzu --

[Link: Kaibo Zonshinzu via Ectoplasmosis >> Morbid Anatomy >> Bibliodyssey]

Police sketch: ‘Faceless’ bank robber (Thailand)

05 Feb 2008

Sketch of 'faceless' bank robber --
The Royal Thai Police have released the sketch of a man suspected of stealing 200,000 baht from the Ladprao branch of the Government Savings Bank (GSB) in Bangkok several weeks ago. According to a report on the newsclip.be Japanese language Thai news site, this sketch is based on the recollections of eyewitnesses, who say the suspect wore a motorcycle helmet at the time of the robbery.

Seen him?

Boy hacker scams 36 mil yen for virtual dress

24 Jan 2008

Blessed Elegant Gothic Dress -- A 16-year-old male gamer infatuated with the gothic dress worn by the fictional princess in an online role-playing game has been arrested for hacking into the game company's servers and scamming a boatload of virtual money.

On January 24, Tokyo Metropolitan Police officers from the "Hi-Tech Crimes Control Center" arrested the high school student from Fukui, Japan and charged him with illegally accessing the website of Tokyo-based game company NEXON and stealing over 36 million yen ($325,000) worth of virtual currency used in the Mabinogi online role-playing game. The money can be used to purchase virtual items in the game, and it can be converted into real-world cash.

According to investigators, the suspect used software from an illegal website to obtain the ID and password of a former NEXON employee, which he used to access the company's servers from his home computer last October. Once inside NEXON's system, he registered a new ID and password and began filling his coffers with the in-game money.

While most of the loot went unused, the suspect allegedly converted 7 million points into about 600,000 yen ($5,500) worth of web money, which he used to purchase books and software.

The suspect has reportedly fessed up to the crime. "I originally wanted the dress worn by the princess," he admitted, "but I just ended up racking up a bunch of game points."

[Source: Nikkan Sports]

Rabbit-shaped police lights

26 Oct 2007

Rabbit light for Osaka police --

The Osaka Prefectural Police Department this year has reportedly purchased 800 rabbit-shaped roof-mount strobe lights for use on special patrol cars that cruise the streets around schools. Custom-built by warning equipment manufacturer Patlite, the blue bunny beacons are designed to win the admiration of children while they send the bad guys packing.

Here is a short video of the rabbit lights on display at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show.

[Via: Gizmodo Japan]

NEC puts DNA lab in a briefcase (for the man)

25 Sep 2007

NEC portable DNA lab -- NEC Corporation has teamed up with Aida Engineering to develop a briefcase-sized DNA analysis system that allows police to perform comprehensive DNA testing at crime scenes in as little as 25 minutes. NEC is calling the device the world's first portable all-in-one DNA analysis system able to handle all DNA testing processes from extraction to analysis. Designed specifically for law enforcement officials and planned for release in 2008, the system measures 50 x 40 x 20 cm (20 x 16 x 8 in.), making it small enough to be carried to crime scenes or other locations where quick DNA analysis is required.

Nowadays it typically takes about one day to complete a DNA analysis (one week if re-testing or confirmation is required), and a variety of different equipment is used to perform the separate processes. NEC's new portable system, on the other hand, can perform all the processes within the same unit -- and it can do it all more quickly. In particular, the compact unit can be used to: (1) take cell samples, (2) extract the DNA, (3) perform polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification to generate copies of the DNA, (4) perform electrophoresis to measure the spacing between DNA bands (to create the genetic fingerprint), and (5) perform short tandem repeat (STR) analysis to create a unique genetic profile for the individual. In addition, the compact unit dramatically speeds up the processes -- particularly the repeated heating and cooling processes performed in PCR amplification -- making it possible to complete the entire DNA analysis in 25 minutes.

The system will be exhibited at the 18th International Symposium on Human Identification scheduled for October 1 to 4 in Los Angeles, and at a meeting of the Japanese Association of Sociology of Law scheduled for November 8 in Tokyo.

[Source: NEC press release]

Curry-flavored mock terror drill

27 Aug 2007

Curry rice flavored mock terror drill --

Curry rice flavored mock terror drill --

Curry rice flavored mock terror drill --

In these video stills from a Japanese TV news report, law enforcement officers engage in hand-to-hand combat with a mock terrorist armed with a curry-rice banner -- the kind commonly placed on sidewalks in front of restaurants. The training exercise was designed to test the response to an invasion by foreign terrorists coming ashore at Tokyo Bay. It is unclear whether curry restaurants are considered a likely terror target, but the fact that the enemy obtained his deadly weapon in a part of town where restaurants are scarce shows a remarkable level of sophistication. We can all take comfort in knowing that law enforcement agencies recognize the potential threat and are training appropriately. Either that, or these images are fake.

[Link: Netamichelin via Korokoro Zaeega]

Mystery money turning up in gov’t office restrooms across Japan

11 Jul 2007

Mystery money -- Over the past several months, small stacks of envelopes, each containing a 10,000 yen bill (about $85) and a handwritten letter, have been turning up in the restrooms at prefectural offices across Japan. On July 11, officials announced the mystery money has been found in 33 different restrooms in government offices located in 15 prefectures -- Hokkaido, Aomori, Miyagi, Akita, Niigata, Saitama, Chiba, Shizuoka, Tokyo, Osaka, Nara, Hyogo, Oita, Nagasaki and Miyazaki.

In every case where the money turns up, the 10,000 yen bills are each enclosed in separate envelopes with the words "payment" and "one envelope per person" written on them. The envelopes also include a handwritten message asking the finder to use the money to help pay for some sort of study or training.

In Tokyo, a stack of ten envelopes was found in the restroom on the first floor of the Tokyo city office on June 14. Elsewhere in the city, stacks of nine envelopes were found in the men's restrooms at both the Kita and Itabashi ward offices, and a stack of ten was found in a restroom at the Shinjuku ward office.

According to officials in Shizuoka prefecture, where 200,000 yen (about $1,700) was discovered in the restrooms at the city and prefectural offices, each of the 20 accompanying letters written on rice paper featured slight differences in handwriting, indicating a single benefactor wrote each letter by hand.

The first known mystery money appeared in Sendai on April 9, where a stack of six envelopes was found in the first-floor men's restroom of the city office.

All told, more than 2.8 million yen (more than $23,000) has been found in restrooms across Japan.

[Sources: Asahi, Yomiuri, Tokyo Shimbun]