For nearly a decade a mysterious individual has plundered homes and businesses alike throughout the Higashi-Osaka area. Cloaked in black and moving with great agility, the unknown burglar earned the nickname the “Ninja of Heisei.” Netting an estimated 29.43 million yen (approximately $258,905), there seemed to be no rooftop too steep or gap too narrow to prevent the cat burglar from striking. However, there was one thing the Ninja was no match for; CCTV.


In May of 2017, store surveillance footage was able to capture a rare glimpse of the nimble Ninja when the neck warmer that had been used to cover his face crept down. Police were able to track down a suspect and had been keeping a close eye on him for several months.

Police watched as the suspect entered a vacant apartment, changed clothing, and waited for night to fall. Witnessing the burglar squeeze through narrow passages between houses and run along walls, investigators were unable to apprehend the thief. Instead, they waited patiently for the suspect to return to his home after officials believed he robbed an electronics store.

Officers placed the man, learned to be 74-year-old Mitsuaki Tanigawa, under arrest. Tanigawa had been unemployed and told police he took up burglary because he “hated working,”

“If I were younger, I wouldn’t have been caught. I’ll quit now as I’m 74 and old enough,” Tanigawa told police.