OKAYAMA (TR) – In the latest arrest of an educator in Okayama, prefectural police on Wednesday apprehended a male high school teacher for the theft of women’s underwear from a laundromat in Tsuyama City, reports the Sanyo Shimbun (Jan. 27).
On January 18 at 11:05 p.m., Ryo Morikoshi, 33, allegedly sorted through and stole underwear of a 21-year-old woman inside a coin-operated drying machine.
“I touched the underwear but I did not steal anything,” the suspect is quoted by police.
Morikoshi became a person of interest for the police following a stakeout of the laundromat by the woman, who had been the victim of two similar thefts earlier this month, and a male acquaintance.
The pair spotted Morikoshi committing crime from inside a car parked outside the laundromat. He then fled the scene after they called out to him. However, the license plate of a vehicle he used was written down and provided to investigators.
In December, a different woman filed a complaint with police over a similar theft. Police are now investigating whether Morikoshi played a role in that crime.
Last year, Morikoshi joined the faculty at the Tsuyama Higashi High School. He teaches calligraphy.
The arrest of Morikoshi follows a string of arrests of teachers in Okayama that began in August of last year.
“While working to prevent a recurrence and restore trust, I would like to offer my deepest apologies to the victims and citizens of the prefecture,” said Yoshiaki Kagimoto, the faculty manager at the Okayama Board of Education.