TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a Turkish national currently applying for refugee status and one other foreigner who are suspected in dozens of burglaries in the Kanto area since the beginning of the year, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 7).
At around 6:30 p.m. on April 20, the Turkish national, a 20-year-old resident of Toshima Ward, and a male cohort allegedly smashed a window of the residence of a 63-year-old man in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture in gaining access to the inside to a steal a wristwatch and rings valued at 210,000 yen.
Both suspects, who became persons of interest for police after an examination of security camera footage, deny the allegations. “I only drove the vehicle and served as a look-out,” the Turkish national told police.
The suspects are believed to have been behind about 50 incidents in Chiba and Saitama prefectures since February in which the value of lost property is around 10 million yen.
The Turkish national, who is ethnically a Kurd, submitted an application to the Immigration Bureau in order to obtain refugee status in Japan, police said.
Earlier this year, the Ministry of Justice announced that more than 19,600 foreign nationals submitted applications for refugee status in Japan, an increase of 80 percent over the year before. Of those applications, 20 were approved, a drop by 8 over the year before.