TOKYO (AFP) - Japanese police have got to the bottom of a mysterious crime wave that saw 200 leather bicycle saddles vanish in a matter of months, reports say.
Joji Kondo, 35, confessed to police that he would steal the saddles and then sniff and lick them when he got home, the Sports Hochi reported on Sunday.
He told officers that he liked the texture and smell of leather and that he particularly "likes saddles sat on by women", the newspaper said.
Police in Yokohama, near Tokyo, had been receiving regular reports since January that bicycle seats were going missing, the paper and other media said.
Kondo told police that he knew by the aroma whether the bike he was targeting belonged to a man or a woman, the paper said.
The Kanagawa prefectural police declined to confirm the reports.