Friday, February 25, 2005

Comics Crime Watch: Tokyo

Get Interpol on the phone. It appears as if the comics crime spree may be the work of an international ring. Or not.

Manga News Service reports that a woman suspected of shoplifting 15,000 Yen (about $143 U.S.) worth of manga from a Tokyo bookstore was slapped with criminal charges plus a 230,000 Yen lawsuit from the store owner. However, a settlement was reached for 70,000 Yen.

It's believed to be the first time a bookstore has used a lawsuit to deter shoplifting, which has become a 2.1 million Yen a year problem in Japan.

The woman, an office worker, is accused of stealing at least 38 comic books and selling them at used bookstores.

If we've learned anything at this early stage of the comics-crime epidemic, it's: a.) don't try to resell the stolen comics locally; and b.) swipe a price guide, too, so you'll know how much the hot property is worth. Six hundred bucks for $140,400 worth of comics? Come on!

I kid, I kid.