A suspected serial shoe thief has blamed his constant criminality on needing to fulfil his ‘sexual desire’ through footwear.
Tsunehito Isobe, 47, was arrested for shoe theft after he was caught on CCTV allegedly trespassing into an office to steal a pair of sandals.
Police searched Isobe’s home and were surprised to find 139 pairs of shoes — 77 of which were nurse shoes — packed neatly in cardboard boxes underneath his bed.
One white nurse’s outfit, a black jumper and two pairs of stockings were also found in the property.
Isobe reportedly told police: “I’ve been interested in shoes worn by women since I was a kid.
“I’ve been stealing for several years.”
Investigators realised that Isobe had been arrested seven years prior for a similar crime.
In 2014, Isobe stole shoes from hospitals and long-term care facilities across Niigata City – he was found in the possession of 244 pairs of shoes, including 200 nurse shoes.
“I did it to satisfy my sexual desire,” Isobe said to police previously.
He added: “The smell is an important point. Feelings of the victims.”
Yasuyuki Deguchi, a professor at Tokyo Future University, says that this is a “very rare case,” as the risk of being arrested “often supersedes criminal activity.”
On June 10, following Isobe’s arrest, the Murakami Police Station put 139 pairs of stolen nurse shoes, high heels and sandals on display.
Japanese law enforcement display stolen goods on blue tarp following an arrest in the hope that the rightful owner will notice their property and get in touch.
If an owner can prove the property belongs to them and decides to make a claim it often leads to stronger sentences for the suspected thief.
Despite Atsushi Hasegawa, the vice chief of the Murakami Police, stating that around half the shoes found in Isobe’s property were stolen, no reports have been filed with his station or those nearby.
“If you notice a theft but think it is ‘not significant enough’ or find lodging a report ‘troublesome,’ please contact us,” Hasegawa said.