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Officer’s swindle of man in 70s raises troubling question of trust

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Matsukichi Tsumaki (1901-1989), aka "Sekkyo Goto" (The lecturing burglar), broke into numerous Tokyo homes in the early years of the Showa Era (1926-1989).

He earned this moniker for his habit of waking his sleeping victims to lecture them on their inadequate home security measures.

Typically, his admonition would go something like this: "Your home is poorly protected. You ought to get a dog." Or, "You need outdoor lighting."

His trick was to first calm his victims with such talk, and then force them to hand over their money. Whether it was due to his gift of gab or the ease with which he could convincingly play a truly caring........

© The Asahi Shimbun