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Man arrested in Japan for stealing 5,800 bike saddles

Lorry driver Hiroaki Suda said he began his one-man crimewave to relieve stress of work

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.

> Tokyo man responds to saddle theft ... by stealing 150+ himself

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 has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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