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Pair suspected in 55 thefts from temples in 19 prefectures

KANAGAWA (TR) – Kanagawa Prefectural Police have arrested two men who are suspected of stealing more than 30 million yen from dozens of temples nationwide, reports Fuji News Network (Jan. 15).

Last October, Yu Nishikawa and Yunosuke Ishii, both 35, allegedly broke into a temple in Fukuchiyama City, Kyoto Prefecture and stole about 290,000 yen in cash.

That same month, the pair also allegedly stole around 160,000 yen in cash from a temple in Tamba City, Hyogo Prefecture.

“We targeted temples because many are unlocked and unmanned,” Ishii was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

Yu Nishikawa (Twitter)

According to police, Nishikawa and Ishii were classmates in middle school. In carrying out the crimes, the pair targeted secluded storage and living areas of the temples.

All told, the pair is believed to have stolen about 32 million yen in about 55 incidents that took place in 19 administrative districts across the country, police said.