After stealing a bunch of bamboos, a gang of Japanese elementary students escaped Japan’s strict vandalism laws because of the touching reason behind their crime.
On the eve of January 25, groundkeepers at Osaka’s Tsurumi Ryokuchi Park noticed that 30 of the almost 230 bamboo stalks in its so-called Flower Valley were cut off and taken away. What was left in the scene were scattered tools including a hammer, a hand sickle, a pair of scissors, a shovel, five saws and adhesive tape, Sankei said.
The scene was clear when authorities made their rounds by 1:40 p.m. on the same day. This led to investigators thinking that the theft must have occurred later in the afternoon. They speculated that the bamboos were cut for either a prank or sale.
As a result, officers looked out for the remaining bamboos the following day, hoping that the unidentified thieves would show up to retrieve their tools.
But to one officer’s surprise, the perpetrators were not exactly what he expected. It was a gang of elementary students composed of five sixth-grade boys and a fourth-grade girl, according to RocketNews24.
When the officer asked why they took the stalks, the youngsters defended:
“We were building a secret fort.”
Park officials were easily amused and felt glad that their facilities stimulated the children’s imagination. One said, “We didn’t know there were still kids in this day and age who’re interested in that sort of thing.”
The children’s principal apologized on the school’s behalf the following day, while their parents came to speak with park officials on January 31. The students penned their apologies and vowed not to repeat their action.
The stolen bamboo stalks were donated to another park for art purposes.