Robber Demands Cash At Store, Foreign Clerk Misunderstands

A robber tries to demand cash from a foreign store clerk, but clerk misunderstands, Tokyo.

Last Thursday, a man strode into a Tokyo convenience store armed with a knife, no doubt confidence in his plan to get some quick cash. However the would-be robber’s plans quickly came undone when his threats failed to register with the Nepalese employee who was on shift at the time. When told to hand over the cash, the worker apparently did not understand and simply responded with “Why?”. Thrown off by this question, the man fled empty handed. It appears that for once, having a language barrier actually proved useful!

The story calls to mind a nearly identical incident that occurred two years ago in Ibaraki Prefecture, as well as another attempted robbery in Osaka last year wherein a convenience store clerk stunned a criminal by trying to scan his knife at the counter .

Police are on the lookout for a twenty-something male dressed in black wearing a grey bandana.

From TBS News:

“Robber Unable to Communicate With Foreign Store Clerk, Flees Without Taking Anything

On the morning of September 10th, a man stormed into a convenience store near JR Ikebukuro Station demanding money, but fled empty handed when the foreign male store clerk couldn’t understand his threatening words.

At 3 pm. on the 10th, a man brandishing a box cutter rushed into a convenience store located near Ikebukuro Station and threatened the 20 year-old clerk by saying, “Take the money out the register and put it in the bag!”. Unable to understand what he meant, the part-time worker from Nepal asked, “Why?”. While the man was busy explaining it was because he “didn’t have money”, a customer entered the store, forcing him to leave empty handed.

The man is reported to be in his 20’s, roughly 175 cm tall, and is dressed in all-black with a grey bandana. Police are investigating the incident as an attempted robbery.

From 2ch:

栓抜き攻撃(禿)@\(^o^)/ :

Why? www


How is it that there’s a foreigner working as a store clerk who doesn’t know Japanese?


The criminal was probably the one wondering “Why?”


The robber should have kept saying “Money! Money!”

スターダストプレス(dion軍)@\(^o^)/ :

He probably meant something like ‘Why do I have to hand the money over to you?’

ジャンピングパワーボム(チベット自治区)@\(^o^)/ :

I think the robber is a pretty good guy for explaining it’s “because I don’t have money”

レインメーカー(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

It’s not “Because I don’t have money”, it should be “Because if you don’t give it to me I’m gonna stab you”.

タイガードライバー(四国地方)@\(^o^)/ :

How is it that there’s a guy working the register who doesn’t know Japanese?

トペ スイシーダ(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

Being Nepalese he’s already used to kukri, so to him a box cutter is like a toy

リキラリアット(東京都)@\(^o^)/ :

Don’t hire foreigners who don’t know the language!


Well, for sure you gotta think “Why?”. The thing about convenience store robberies is they involve a lot of high risks for very little reward.


I’m glad the Nepalese guy got through that ordeal without any injuries.
Give him a bonus.


The employee responds “Why?” when asked to hand over the money.
The robber responds, “Because I don’t have money”
It’s funny how overly reasonable both of them are.


Well this is a first wwww


“I’ve got an idea!” says Sukiya


There are people from countries far poorer than our own making an honest living, and then there are scumbags like this…
As a Japanese, it makes me sad (´;ω;`)


It’s getting hard to be a robber these days


From now robbers will have to study foreign languages.

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