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Ehime: 5 men suspected in smash-and-grab incidents in Matsuyama

EHIME (TR) – Police in Ehime and Aichi prefectures have arrested five men who are suspected in the theft of nearly 5 million yen in goods at stores in Matsuyama City, Ehime last year, reports Nippon News Network (Apr. 8).

On June 9, Shinji Noma, a 37-year-old employee in the automobile disassembly industry in Aichi, and four others allegedly broke into a pawnshop and stole four wristwatches valued at 470,000 yen.

About one hour before, the same five persons allegedly stole 146 items, including hand bags, valued at 4.45 million yen from a second-hand store specializing brand goods.

In video footage shot inside the pawnshop, three men are shown using tools to smash glass display cases and snatch items from inside. In gaining access to the second-hand store, the thieves are believed to have smashed a window.

The five suspects are believed to be members of a theft ring. Police have sent them and eight other members to prosecutors to the Okazaki branch of the Nagoya District Public Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of theft.

The ring is believed to have been behind about 150 incidents in Aichi and Ehime prefectures and five other administrative districts in which the damage totals around 125 million yen, police said.