Hair today, gone tomorrow: Serial hair-snipper arrested in Japan

TOKYO (AFP) - A suspected serial hair-snipper has been arrested in Japan after being accused of stealing tresses from unsuspecting women on rush-hour trains.

Police charged the 23-year-old graduate student with assault on Monday (Dec 5) after he admitted cutting the hair of a woman on a packed morning train in Nagoya, a city west of Tokyo.

Akiya Yoshida is also being investigated for possible involvement in about 30 other cases over the past several years.

Yoshida said he had planned on selling his ill-gotten merchandise online, according to the top-selling Yomiuri newspaper.

In the latest case Yoshida is suspected of cutting his 40-year-old victim's hair with scissors.

The woman did not notice she had lost about 35 centimetres of hair because the train was packed with commuters, media said.

Local police reportedly stepped up their patrols earlier this year after receiving complaints from other women whose hair or skirts had been cut on area trains.