A man from Shizuoka prefecture has been handed down a two-year prison term with a four-year suspended sentence for stealing over 80,000 yen (US$590) of school equipment from schools in the local area over a period of a couple of weeks during the summer of 2021. The man was a “devoted fan of Love Live! Sunshine!!” according to the prosecution and was looking to recreate his youth in an anime aesthetic.
During the nights of summer 2021, the Shizuoka man broke into multiple schools, using his bike to travel from his home to the school to steal desks, uniforms, an extension cord, an LCD monitor and an amp. After a few attempts over the same nights, neighbors reported a suspicious man in the area, though nothing came of it.
At one point when the man was riding back from the school, he was stopped by a police officer on patrol who asked him what he was doing and where he was going. The was holding a desk in one hand and the amp on the back of his bike. He replied to the police officer that he was on the way home from busking at Shizuoka Station and was sent on his way.
An image of the school gear stolen by the man (via FNN)
By the end of the escapades, the man had 15 desks – 15 short of a full classroom. The prosecution asked why the man had to steal them instead of buying them new. The defendant responded, “to enhance the imagery of school life and club activities, I chose to steal the actual equipment used in the school.”
The judge said that the crime was “cold and calculated” but noted that items had been returned and social pressures have been applied to the defendant. The Shizuoka man also admitted to the charges and apologized to the students for making them uncomfortable.
Source: TV Shizuoka via FNN
Daryl Harding is a Japan Correspondent for Crunchyroll News. He also runs a YouTube channel about Japan stuff called TheDoctorDazza, tweets at @DoctorDazza, and posts photos of his travels on Instagram.