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Kyoto man rents car but doesn’t return it…for a year

KYOTO (TR) – His request for an “extension” to a rental car company seemed straightforward. However, Masafumi Hagawara, 44, certainly stretched the typical interpretation of the term, according to the Asahi Shimbun (Sept. 5).

On September 5, Kyoto Prefectural Police announced the arrest of Hagawara, of no known occupation, after he kept a vehicle he rented from the company for more than one year, running up a bill of nearly 8 million yen.

On June 24, 2019, the suspect rented the car from the company’s outlet in Fushimi Ward, where he lives. Under the agreement between him and the company, he was to return it on July 2.

“I am in Tokyo and I’d like an extension,” he said when he telephoned the company, according to the Fushimi Police Station.

That was the last time the company heard from him. A police officer found the car parked in Kyoto City this past August 4, when his bill had reached around 7.66 million yen (about 72,000 U.S. dollars).

Upon his arrest, Hagawara admitted to the allegations, police said.