TOCHIGI (TR) – Tochigi Prefectural Police have arrested a 26-year-old man suspected in the theft of over 150 nameplates for landmarks from as many as three prefectures.
On October 5, Tochigi Prefectural Police arrested Harunobu Takeuchi, a 26-year-old resident of Tochigi Prefecture, on suspicion of theft for using a crowbar to pry off and steal four steel nameplates (valued at 16,000 yen) from a bridge in Tochigi City sometime between September 21 and 22, the Sankei Shimbun reports (Oct. 20).
The unemployed suspect has admitted to the charges, quoted by police as saying he more stole plates in Saitama Prefecture.
Takeuchi is suspected of selling the stolen nameplates to a recycling business to pay for pachinko and living expenses.
Police recovered from the recycling business 152 steel plates bearing the names of bridges, rivers and tunnels, valued at a total of some 4.2 million yen.
Police confirmed there were 45 reports of stolen bridge nameplates in Tochigi, and three in the prefectures of Gunma and Ibaraki.
Takeuchi’s name came up as a suspect when the recycling business was being investigated, police said.