04 June 2007

Bicycle thief

Bruce Wallace of the Los Angeles Times describes having his bicycle stolen in Japan.
My bicycle was available [to be stolen] because I never lock it. Not even when I'm leaving it outside a busy train station overnight.

This is Japan. Nobody steals your stuff here. Safest place in the developed world. You can look it up in the guidebooks.

It's a silly stereotype, of course. Tokyo's crime rate may be much lower than that of Los Angeles, but that doesn't mean it's free of petty thieves (or robbers, killers and gangsters). But live here awhile and enough anecdotal experience piles up to feed complacency. I've been chased by people who want to return a dropped coin. I've left my cellphone in a park, come back the next morning, and found it on the bench where I'd set it down.

Not to worry. As it turns out, the Japanese cops are on the case.

1 comment:

Agnieszka said...

I have heard from folks who lived in Japan doing the JET program that bikes are one of the few things that Japanese steal with astounding regularity, particularly bikes left at train stations. You can walk around with a backpack full of cash and be fine. But for some reason, bikes are fair game.