Cashier Arrested in Japan for Allegedly Using ‘Photographic Memory’ to Steal Credit Card Information of 1,300 Customers

By Wire Service Content

A store cashier in Tokyo been arrested on allegations of stealing the credit card information of 1,300 customers using just one tool—his memory.

The part-time worker was arrested Thursday for stealing credit card details to buy $2,600 (270,000 Japanese yen) worth of bags from online shopping sites last March, according to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police.

A Visa credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration taken September 6,
A Visa credit card is seen on a computer keyboard in this picture illustration taken on Sept. 6, 2017. (Philippe Wojazer/Illustration/Reuters)

A police source familiar with the investigation told CNN that the man, who worked at a shopping mall in Koto ward, had allegedly memorized customers’ credit card information while processing their orders—then recalled the credit card details later to shop online.

The suspect has a photographic memory and police have found a notebook with card details listed in it, said the source working on the investigation.

Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo
Credit cards, a chain and an open padlock is seen in front of displayed Equifax logo in this illustration taken on Sept. 8, 2017. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration via Reuters)

He has been in police custody for six days, police say. Japanese investigators can hold any arrested suspect for up to 20 days before they are charged. It is unclear if he has hired an attorney.

A crime committed only with the help of a photographic memory would be one of Japan’s more unique cases of credit card theft—but certainly not the biggest. In 2016, a group of thieves used about 1,600 forged cards to withdraw money from 1,400 cash machines across Japan. In just over two hours, they stole $13 million.