Yes, I said, sadly (in English because attempted robbery must be in book 2 of our Genki Japanese course.) Someone broke the lock on my bike at our apartment one night. We bought the chain lock to replace it.
Mm hmm, says the policeman, tapping the city registration number on the bike. And this is your bike?
Yes, it's my bike.
May I have your name, please?
Which is when I realize that the policeman thinks I stole my bike.
There is a Chris Rock routine in which he describes being pulled over by a policeman who is so convinced Rock stole the car he's driving that Chris Rock starts to believe it himself - "Maybe I did... Oh, Lawd, I done stole a car!" That was me, trying desperately to remember whether the bike was registered in my name or Justin's, and eventually becoming so disoriented that I might have been convinced I stole the bike after all. And in the meantime helpful the restaurant owner and random Japanese people keep popping out of the restaurant offering to help translate to make sure that I don't end up in the Japanese equivalent of Gitmo.Unless, of course, I had it coming.
Fortunately, the bike database people call back with the information that yes, the bike is registered to someone with a foreign name (not that he ever saw an ID from me to prove it was MY name) and I'm at liberty to go. But it does occur to me that this would be a great prank to pull on somebody: break their bike lock so they go around constantly under suspicion of bike theft.