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Copycat: Man attempts laundromat break-in after watching news

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police last week arrested a 49-year-old man after he attempted to break into a laundromat in Ota Ward.

The suspect later told police that he was inspired to commit the crime after watching news reports covering similar crimes, reports TBS News (Nov. 2).

At around 2:30 a.m. on November 1, Yuji Oka, of no known occupation, allegedly used a crowbar to try to break into a change machine at the laundromat, which features coin-operated machines.

Oka, who has been accused of attempted theft, admits the allegations. “I saw a report theft cases at laundromats in the news and thought that I could do it myself,” the suspect was quoted by the Omori Police Station.

Yuji Oka (Twitter)

Last month, police announced that a ring is believed to have broken into dozens of outlets of a chain of laundromats in the Kanto area over the past few months.

As a result of the rash of break-ins, police have upped patrols by officers at laundromats in Kanto. On November 1, one such officer apprehended Oka at the laundromat in Ota.