CHIBA (TR) – Chiba Prefectural Police on Friday announced the arrest of a 38-year-old man over the alleged theft of children’s slippers from schools across the country, reports the Asahi Shimbun (Mar. 15).
In January, police used security camera footage to arrest Norihisa Mitsusawa, of no known occupation, for allegedly stealing six pairs of slippers from a kindergarten in Matsudo City.
Investigators later searched Mitsusawa’s residence in Ichikawa City and found about 300 pairs inside.
Mitsusawa, who has been accused of theft and trespassing, denies the allegations, according to the Matsudo Police Station.
After examining the footwear, police determined that the crime spree started at the kindergarten in Matsudo in October of last year. However, the suspect targeted other locations thereafter, including in Tokyo and western Japan.
Thus far, Mitsusawa has been served arrest warrants in four cases. For his latest arrest, Mitsusawa allegedly trespassed into three elementary schools in Kagoshima, Yamaguchi and Shizuoka prefectures last December and stole 29 slippers valued at around 12,000 yen, police said.
In the other three cases, including the aforementioned incident in Matsudo, Mitsusawa allegedly stole a total 75 slippers from 12 elementary schools and kindergartens in Chiba and Osaka. Thus far, the suspect has been sent to prosecutors over 63 of those stolen slippers.
The investigation is ongoing, police said.