Fukuoka man arrested for stealing used tennis rackets because he liked their smell

Theft of sporting goods may have been a crime of passion.

On 10 April, Kumamoto Prefectural police announced the arrest of a 40-year-old man for stealing three tennis rackets and cases worth about 23,000 yen (US$205). However, while sporting goods can be resold for a profit, this suspect’s motives may not have been financial at all.

An investigation was launched into the theft which took place at the locker room of a men’s tennis team in a Chikugo City high school, on 28 August, 2017. A trail of evidence eventually led police to the suspect who lived in the same city. He reportedly told them, “I like the smell of sweat that seeps into the racket handles.”

Strangely, the report didn’t say that he actually admitted to the crime, which would make his confession really awkward if he didn’t. Meanwhile, readers of the news online were somewhat sympathetic and a little fascinated by the suspect’s peculiar tastes.

“I was kind of with him until they said ‘men’s’ tennis club.”
“People are into all sorts of things, aren’t they.”
“Maybe he is a big Prince of Tennis fan and wanted a 4D experience.”
“So, what does he do with the rackets? I mean, where does he put them?”
“I say let him go. If that’s the thing he’s into, then he’s suffering enough.”
“If that’s his kink, then boxing or kendo gloves would be way better.”

It’s unclear why he was specifically into tennis racket handles. Perhaps something about the particular leather or rubber used in them reacted with the sweat to make that particular aroma that turned him on.

It’s also strange that this theft happened to be extremely similar to a recent incident in Tokyo. On 15 March, a man in his 50s was arrested for stealing rubber boots used by guys in a poultry factory also because he liked their smell. It’s really suggesting there’s a lucrative demand for guy-sweat these days.

However, there really shouldn’t be a need to resort to robbery to get it. I have to think that a lot of guys would gladly sweat all over stuff in exchange for money. Heck, I’m thinking of going into business myself. Lord knows I need the exercise and truth be told, it sounds like a pretty cushy racket.

Source: Yomiurui Shimbun, Hamusoku
Top image: Pakutaso
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