Here’s a story for any youngster out there who might be think a life of crime is “groovy,” as you kids put it. This is the tale of 46-year-old Hiromichi Komatsu who, upon his arrest, introduced himself to police as the “Lupin of Kansai.”
As we have seen before, the moniker of “Lupin” is occasionally used as a badge of honor in the criminal world, referring to the either the master thief Lupin III of manga/anime fame or Arsene Lupin of French literature. However, it only really works when other people give you the name, otherwise you just sound like a dork.
▼ To his credit though, he really does own his perp walk.
Lupin of Kansai seemed all to happy to brag about his exploits upon his arrest, telling police, “I committed about 100 thefts in the Kansai area. However, the police were getting too close, so I came out to the Flower of O-Edo where I committed another 50 or so thefts.”
A powerful wave of embarrassment must have washed over the interrogation room as the suspect used the nickname “Flower of O-Edo” referring to Tokyo in a very flattering and somewhat antiquated term, as if to drive home his claim to being a truly sophisticated gentleman thief.
It was a sense of awkwardness that spread out far and wide over the internet along with the news.
“What are you doing, old man?”
“He called himself that? Maybe he wanted an interesting way of saying, ‘Hi, I’m an idiot.’”
“He sounds more like Goemon Ishikawa than Lupin.”
“He’s a little too into thieving.”
“That’s a sad excuse for Lupin.”
“How dare thee utter the name ‘O-Edo,’ sir?!”
“I wonder how this guy sees the world.”
“Someone should tell him Lupin isn’t really that cool nowadays.”
“This must really bother the Lupin of Kanto.”
“Another guy in his 40s?! Do you lose all sense of morality after you turn 40?”
The last comment is referring to a recent incident in which a man robbed a convenience store with a Walther P-38 like Lupin III used, before returning to the scene of the crime drunk out of his mind. That suspect was also in his 40s. The gun in that incident turned out to be a fake, much like these half-assed Lupins.
However, rather than armed robbery, the Lupin of Kansai was truer to his namesake and engaged in burglary. In the event leading to his arrest, he broke into an office through the window and stole about 500,000 yen (US$4,650) of computers and equipment. Police were able to track him down through similar thefts and subsequent sales of stolen goods to secondhand shops.
I don’t recall the episode where Lupin III stole office supplies from a rubber gasket company, but I’m pretty sure he would have been smart enough to either sit on his ill-gotten goods for a while or sell them through black market channels rather than legitimate businesses that keep accurate records.
A true pro also probably wouldn’t make the decision to move to an area where security and law-enforcement is at an all-time high in preparation for the 2020 “Flower of O-Edo” Olympics. Then again, I’m not the Lupin of Kansai, so what do I know?