We spotted an umbrella thief in the act on the streets of Tokyo, and it left us feeling strange

Rainy-day crime gives our witness a lot to think about.

Monday morning started off just like any other weekday for our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun. After breakfast with his adorable daughter Rei, they hopped on his bicycle and he dropped her off at preschool. As P.K. headed back towards home, though, it started to rain.

As the first drops hit his head, P.K. pumped his legs, hoping to get home before it really started coming down. He could see other umbrella-less people out and about also scurrying to get indoors, and one of them was an elderly man who P.K. guessed was in his 80s. He was about 30 meters (98 feet) in front of P.K, walking in the opposite direction, and as he came up next to a convenience store he made a quick turn towards the entrance.

But the elderly man wasn’t headed inside to wait out the rain. Instead, he walked right up to the rack where customers put their umbrellas before going inside to shop. Showing no hesitation at all, he picked an umbrella out of the rack and turned back around to open and walk off with it.

At this point P.K. was just a couple meters away from the man, so he called out “Hey, wait a second…” while squeezing the brakes and bringing his bike to a stop. This caught the attention of the umbrella’s rightful owner, a burly, 50-something man who came rushing out of the store when P.K.’s voice caused him to turn towards the rack and see the theft in progress.

“The f**k do you think you’re doing?” the owner shouted, charging out of the store towards the much shorter and smaller thief. He grabbed the umbrella and …continue reading