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Tokyo woman strangles acquaintance in attempt to cover ¥57 million theft

Harumi Kato
Harumi Kato
TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Wednesday arrested a 54-year-old woman from Nerima Ward for strangling an acquaintance in an effort to avoid a debt, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Aug. 13).

In December of last year, Harumi Kato, 54, pulled a towel over the head of the victim, 69, and strangled her with an electrical cord after she had gone to bed. She also slashed at her with a knife. The victim survived the attack.

While the victim was hospitalized, she asked the suspect to take care of her cash card and bank book. The suspect subsequently withdrew approximately 57 million yen from more than 10 automatic-teller machines on about 140 occasions, according to TV Aashi (Aug. 12).

Kato, who has been charged with robbery and attempted murder, admits to the allegations, telling police that she used the money for home renovations and travel.

On the day after the attack, the woman underwent a medical examination. After the discovery of cuts to her wrist, medical personnel called police. The victim’s injuries required two weeks to heal.

According to police, the victim and suspect became acquainted three years ago. In March of last year, the woman began to suffer from an illness that extended for several months.