May 31, 2008

Homeless woman arrested for living in man's closet undetected for a year

Ripley's Believe or Not!.

(AFP) A homeless woman who sneaked into a man's house in Fukuoka Prefecture and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

Police found the 58-year-old woman, Tatsuko Horikawa, hiding in the top compartment of the 57-year-old man's closet Thursday and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from Kasuya Police Station said Friday.

The resident of the one-story house in Shime, Fukuoka Prefecture, installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police, fearing a burglary.

"We searched the house . . . checking everywhere someone could possibly hide," police spokesman Itakura said. "When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."

The man lived alone in the one-story house and was not using the room with the shelf closet where the women was living. The height of the shelf closet is only 50 cm.

She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."