Osaka registered just 83 cases in February, the lowest figure since 1989. The total for January and February was 191, which represents a 25 percent drop over the same period in 2012.
According to the National Police Agency, Kanagawa Prefecture had the highest total (207) for the first two months of the year. Osaka ranked second, and Saitama Prefecture came in third.
“We will not not loosen our vigilance,” said a representative from the Osaka Prefectural Police. “We will continue to focus on crime prevention and crackdowns.”
According to prefectural police, there were 1,687 purse-snatching incidents in Osaka in 2012, the second consecutive year in which Osaka recorded the highest total.
The month with the greatest number of cases was November. As a countermeasure, police monitored security cameras and studied the methods of the thieves. Officers also patrolled areas where incidents frequently occurred.
By December, the number of snatching cases was 89, the second-highest figure in Japan.
An investigator says that on a per-incident basis these thefts do not result in losses that approach that of burglars. “However, we are treating these cases as we would thefts of expensive items in utilizing all of our top investigative resources.”