On December 10, 1968, the largest heist in the history of Japan occurred. The robbery was an ingenious plot carried out by one man who remains at large today.
The Nippon Trust Bank had four employees transport the 3 million yen in the trunk of a company car. The money was bonuses for the employees of Toshiba’s Fuchu factory.
As the car approached the Toshiba factory, it was stopped by a single uniformed police officer on a motorcycle. The cop ran up to the car and stated that the bank branch’s manager’s home had been bombed. The car had been stopped because they believe there was a bomb in the car. He asked the occupants to get out while he searched for a device. As the shocked passengers stood warily by, smoke started pouring out of the bottom of the car. The “cop” jumped out stating that the bomb was about to go off. As the frightened employees ran, the “cop” jumped into the drivers seat and took off.
Investigators responded and found the “cop” motorcycle was just a painted stolen bike. The smoke was from a simple road flare. The bank’s car was found but the perp had used two separate stolen cars to make his getaway, switching vehicles multiple times. The perp had left numerous pieces of evidence in the cars and at the crime scene. Investigators soon realized that these items were all there to obfuscate the investigation and had no value. Despite years of investigative work, the case remains unsolved.