Today, December 10, is the 50th anniversary of the most famous theft in modern Japanese history. Called the 三億円事件 san oku-en jiken or 300 Million Yen Incident, it was a theft of 300 million yen (worth $817,520 at the exchange rate at the time, or $5.8 million after inflation), it was the biggest heist in Japanese history, and over the years has become as infamous as D.B. Cooper.
On the morning of December 10, 1968, four employees of the Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank were transporting the money in a company car to another location. They encountered a “policeman” who stopped them, warning them that a bomb attack had occurred at the branch manager’s home, and that dynamite might have been planted in the car they were driving. The thief pretended to check under the car, lightning a flare underneath it to scare the passengers out of the vehicle, fearing a bomb was about to go off. He then got in their car and drove off, with the money in the back. The car was recovered, but the money and the man vanished.
A huge investigation was launched, with a mind-boggling 170,000 police officers involved, but aside from a (fake) police motorcycle and some random bits of evidence, no perpetrators were ever caught and no money uncovered. It’s been the subject of countless books and films.
Maybe the money was stolen by D.B. Cooper.