Osaka cop suspected in theft of ¥5 million from home to cover gambling debts

An officer from the Kaizuka Police Station is suspected in the theft of five million yen from an elderly man's residence
An officer from the Kaizuka Police Station is suspected in the theft of five million yen from an elderly man’s residence (Nippon News Network)

OSAKA (TR) – A police officer is suspected in the theft of around five million yen from an elderly man’s home in Kaizuka City after warning him about the dangers of storing large amounts of cash at a residence, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Apr. 8).

On April 8, Osaka Prefectural Police arrested Takumi Deguchi, a 25-year-old officer at the Kaizuka Police Station, on suspicion of stealing three million yen from a closet in a bedroom of the 89-year-old’s home on April 1.

On January 10, Deguchi was dispatched to the home in response to the elderly man’s complaint about a missing wallet containing cash. The suspect and his boss, an assistant inspector, noticed that the victim was storing large amounts of cash at home, and gave him crime prevention advice, saying “leaving [money] at home is dangerous.”

On April 2, the man appeared at the station to report that money was missing from his home, telling police the cash vanished after the officer had revisited the residence, this time in an unofficial capacity, the day before.

After the launch of an investigation, the officer admitted to the charges. On the morning of April 8, police searched his residence and found an envelope containing 1.45 million yen in cash, which is believed to belong to the victim.

The suspect admits to stealing from the home initially in January. On the day of his first visit, the suspect later returned to the residence alone and stole two million yen. He said the theft was to cover gambling debts accrued from betting on horse races. Police believe the subsequent theft took place after the officer realized he could not cover all of his debts.

“This is an outrageous act for a police officer,” says Masahiro Miyata, an inspector with the prefectural police. “I apologize to the victim. We plan to deal with this matter harshly, though the investigation is still ongoing.”

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