The Tokyo Reporter

Police in Kanto break up vehicle-theft ring that targeted Toyota HiAce vans

Police in Kanto have accused four suspects of stealing 160 vehicles and 14 license plates between 2015 and 2016 (TV Asahi)

TOCHIGI (TR) – Law enforcement divisions in Tochigi and Ibaraki prefectures have busted a vehicle-theft ring that targeted Toyota vans in the Kanto area, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 5).

Between April, 2015 and November of last year, Yusuke Kagawa, 29, and three other suspects are believed to have stolen 160 vehicles, primarily HiAce vans, and 14 license plates in Ibaraki, Saitama, Chiba, Tochigi, Gunma and Fukushima prefectures. The value of the stolen items is estimated at 212.5 million yen.

Kagawa, who has been prosecuted on suspicion of theft, admits to the allegations. “I did it to pay back debts and for entertainment expense,” the suspect was quoted by police.

According to TV Asahi (July 6), Kagawa emerged as a person of interest after police were alerted to a vehicle considered suspicious and parked at a convenience store in Tsukuba City, Ibaraki, where he lives.

Police have also arrested Yukio Okubo, a 32-year-old disassembly worker living in the town of Ami, Ibaraki, and two other persons for allegedly purchasing the vehicles while knowing they were stolen.

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