120 Million Yen Disappears from Trucking Company Office in Kami Oshima (上大島）, Tsukuba
By Avi Landau
While the Tsukuba Police are still wracking their brains trying to find the perpetrator of the horrific double murder committed in Higashi Hiratsuka, (Tsukuba) on December 30th of last year (2017), another puzzling crime was committed about 15 kilometers away, in a neighborhood called Kami Oshima, located at the northern-most limits of Tsukuba City*.
Here is what we know happened.
At about two o`clock on the morning of March 4th, a 45 year old male employee of the Noboru Trucking Company (昇運輸 – Noboru Unyu) called the 110 emergency hot-line to report an intruder (or intruders) after having heard suspicious noises (he had been sleeping in one of the buildings on the company`s grounds).
After the police from the Tsukuba Kita Police station arrived on the scene they found that the company`s main office building, a two-story structure, had been ransacked (on both floors). The company`s 68 year old president then reported that some money was missing: 120 million yen (about a million dollars) in cash!
Asked why there was so much cash on the premises, he explained that he was about to buy four new trucks for the company – and with no safe, he had divided up the money, put it in different bags and hid them in various rooms on both floors of the building. Neither the doors or the windows were left locked(!). Nor was there anyone in the office to keep watch(!!) The employee who called the police said that someone had shone a flashlight into the room he`d been sleeping in and that he`d been scared out of his wits.
It all sounds pretty fishy to me… especially with the deadline for filing tax-returns coming up!
Anyway, the police say they are treating the case as an incidence of grand larceny and are now going through all the security camera footage taken in the general vicinity.
Watch the NHK news report on this story here.
Kami Oshima was one of the stops along the now defunct Tsukuba Tetsudo Railroad -and anyone cycling the Rinrin Road (which was laid over the line after the tracks were torn up) passes through it. It is a quaint little old town sandwiched between Mt. Tsukuba and the Sakura River. To its north is Sakayori in Sakuragawa City and to its south the village of Kunimatsu (Tsukuba) – where the old man recently attacked by the wild boar is from.