A man has been arrested in Japan after stealing 5,800 bike saddles over a quarter of a century.
Kyodo News reports that Hiroaki Suda, aged 57, kept his illegally acquired collection in a storage unit he rented in Osaka.
Suda, a lorry driver by trade, was arrested earlier this month after he was filmed on CCTV stealing two saddles at a train station and a cycle parking facility in Higashiosaka.
He has reportedly admitted the thefts, telling police: “I began to steal bike seats about 25 years ago in Tokyo and Osaka to relieve stress at work and, gradually, collecting them turned out to be fun.”
Police believe that Suda amassed his collection while travelling for work.
Surprisingly, it’s not the first story of widescale saddle theft in Japan that we have covered here on road.cc.
Last October, we reported on the case of 61-year-old Tokyo resident Akio Hatori, who began his saddle-stealing spree after his own one was stolen from his bicycle.
Like Suda, he was arrested after being caught on CCTV in the act of stealing a saddle, having built up a collection numbering 159 over the course of a year.
Hatori reportedly wanted his victims to the experience the same emotions of anger, upset and loss that he himself had felt after his own saddle was stolen.
“I wanted other people to feel what I had gone through, and I stole the seats as a form of revenge,” he said.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.