National / Crime & Legal

Man arrested in Tokyo for allegedly robbing over 100 cabs by asking for change in advance

Kyodo

Tokyo police have arrested a man for allegedly robbing over 100 taxis throughout Japan by asking for change from drivers before paying and then fleeing with the money.

The police said Friday that Ryusei Tamayose, a 23-year-old unemployed man with no fixed address, is suspected to have told a cab driver on the night of Oct. 20, upon their arrival in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward, that he wanted to pay with a ¥10,000 bill but that he wanted to receive his change before exiting the cab to withdraw the money.

He also allegedly asked for smaller bills to exchange ¥10,000 and ¥5,000 notes, which he did not have at the time, robbing the driver of a total of ¥20,000 without paying the fare that amounted to ¥5,000.

The suspect admitted to the theft, saying he has swindled money out of taxi drivers for the past three years and lived off the cash, according to the police.

In order to gain the drivers’ trust, Tamayose often asked them to stop at convenience stores on the way to his destinations and then returned to the cabs, a tactic meant to make them believe he wouldn’t cheat the fare, the investigators said.

The police identified him in footage taken from a taxi after a similar incident was reported in February.