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Tokyo: Yakuza nabbed over bag-snatching incident

Hidekazu Kobayashi
Hidekazu Kobayashi of the Sumiyoshi-kai

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested two men, including an organized crime member, over a purse-snatching incident in Katsushika Ward last year that resulted a woman injured, reports NHK (Jan. 14).

On the night of November 17, Hidekazu Kobayashi, 34, of the Sumiyoshi-kai and Naomasa Sugimoto, 32, allegedly pushed the woman, 20, off her bicycle before hitting her in the face and stomach.

The suspects then stole her handbag, which contained about 12,000 yen in cash, before fleeing the scene.

Kobayashi, who has been accused of robbery resulting in injury, admits to the allegations. “It was easy money,” the suspect told police. However, Sugimoto denies the charges.

According to police, the woman was pedaling home prior to the incident. The suspects became persons of interest after an examination of surveillance camera footage.

Since July of last year, there have been at least six similar incidents in Katsushika and Adachi wards. Police are investigating whether the two suspects were also involved in the other cases.