Man steals from churches & convents

29 02 2008

Homeless man arrested for stealing from Kyushu churches, convents

NAGASAKI — A homeless man faces charges for stealing over 1 million yen from 19 churches and convents across Kyushu, police said.

Junji Koyama, 55, an unemployed man of no fixed address, admitted to the allegations during questioning. “I sneaked into churches and convents when it was quiet. It was easy to escape from the convents, because there were only women there,” he was quoted as telling investigators.

Koyama was arrested and subsequently indicted for sneaking into a convent in Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture, on the early morning of Jan. 24, and stealing 10,000 yen.

Police later referred him to prosecutors, accusing Koyama of sneaking into 18 other Christian churches and convents in five Kyushu prefectures, including Fukuoka and Miyazaki, between October last year and January this year, stealing over 1 million yen.

My two yen.  Homeless people in Japan are known for not bothering anyone, even collecting recyclables to make a small profit.  They do not beg or annoy passers by, at least in Tokyo, so I am a bit surprised by the story and the fact that he targeted churches and convents.  Churches in Japan are the rare groups that actually work with the homeless to provide food and such.  Was it a bad experience with someone from a church that made these places his target?  While I think what he did was terrible I also think there but for the grace of God go I.




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