Restaurant Owner Allegedly Stole Food to Make ‘Soul-Shaking Delicious Dishes’

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hyogo Prefectural Police Headquarters

KOBE — A 40-year-old restaurant owner from Maizuru, Kyoto Prefecture, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of shoplifting nine food items worth ¥8,764 at two supermarkets in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, on Feb. 24.

The man had been arrested on the day on suspicion of shoplifting at another supermarket. While investigating the case, police found other food in his car including steak from Japanese Black cattle, salmon sashimi and sea bream.

Police are investigating whether the man committed other crimes considering the possibility that he had cooked stolen food to serve dishes at his restaurant.

According to the police, the man allegedly admitted to the charges, saying that he intended to cook and serve the stolen food at his restaurant. Before taking items out of the store, he allegedly hid food under his clothing while shop staff were not looking. The suspect paid for only a few hundred yen worth of purchases for drinks and other items.

On his restaurant’s website, dishes are described as “the best of the best menu” and that meals are “so delicious they will shake your heart.” When sales at the restaurant declined due to the coronavirus pandemic, the man solicited donations through crowdfunding.