updated 5/30/2008 9:23:10 AM ET 2008-05-30T13:23:10

A homeless woman who sneaked into a man’s house and lived undetected in his closet for a year was arrested in Japan after he became suspicious when food mysteriously began disappearing.

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Police found the 58-year-old woman Thursday hiding in the top compartment of the man’s closet and arrested her for trespassing, police spokesman Hiroki Itakura from southern Kasuya town said Friday.

The resident of the home installed security cameras that transmitted images to his mobile phone after becoming puzzled by food disappearing from his kitchen over the past several months.

One of the cameras captured someone moving inside his home Thursday after he had left, and he called police believing it was a burglar. However, when they arrived they found the door locked and all windows closed.

“We searched the house ... checking everywhere someone could possibly hide,” Itakura said. “When we slid open the shelf closet, there she was, nervously curled up on her side."

Woman found the home unlocked
The woman told police she had no place to live and first sneaked into the man’s house about a year ago when he left it unlocked.

The closet is part of a Japanese-style room, one of several rooms in his one-story house where the man lived alone — or so he had thought.

Police were investigating how she managed to go in and out of the house unnoticed, as well as details of her life inside the closet, and if she had taken anything else besides food.

She had moved a mattress into the small closet space and apparently even took showers, Itakura said, calling the woman "neat and clean."

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