TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 40-year-old male man over the alleged robbery of a convenience store in Suginami Ward in which he used a toy gun.
However, Masafumi Hijikata denies the allegations, telling police that the toy gun in his possession upon his arrest was due to his fondness for a popular animation, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 11).
At around 4 a.m. on Sunday, Hijikata, of no known occupation, entered an outlet of FamilyMart in the Asagaya area and allegedly threatened a male clerk with the toy gun.
“Hand over the money,” he reportedly said before fleeing by bicycle with 98,000 yen in cash. Police said previously that the suspect told the clerk that the gun was a Walther P38.
In announcing the robbery later on Sunday, police said that an examination of security camera footage revealed that it was probably an air gun.
Two other incidents
About five minutes after the incident, Hijikata is believed to have wielded the same air gun in the robbery of an outlet of Lawson located near the Suginami Ward office.
At around 12:30 a.m., he is also believed to have used the toy to rob another outlet of FamilyMart in the Nishi Shinjuku area of Shinjuku Ward.
There were no injuries in the robberies, police said previously.
In announcing the incidents, police said that the perpetrator was wearing sunglasses and a blue suit.
“Lupin the Third”
Early Tuesday morning, a staff member at one of the convenience stores previously targeted by Hijikata alerted police, saying that that a person resembling him was outside.
Upon arrival at the scene, police found the suspect, who was intoxicated at the time, to be in possession of a Walther P38 toy gun.
Hijikata later told police that he is a fan of “Lupin the Third,” an animation that features a thief who totes a gun. “Since I like ‘Lupin the Third,’ I have an air gun,” the suspect said.