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Attempted robbery suspects targeted woman after swindle by fraud ring

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested two men who are suspected in the attempted robbery of an elderly woman in Nerima Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (May 27).

At around 3:00 a.m. on April 18, Kenta Watanabe, 23, of no known occupation, and Seiji Igarashi, a 38-year-old employee at a commercial sex (fuzoku) business, allegedly broke into the residence of the woman, aged in her 80s.

After covering her mouth, they sought to steal valuables from inside. However, she managed to let out a scream, causing them to flee empty-handed.

Watanabe partially denies the allegations. “I didn’t go into the residence,” the suspect was quoted. However, Igarashi admits to the allegations.

Seiji Igarashi, left, and Kenta Watanabe (Twitter)

According to police, the woman was defrauded out of 3 million yen by a fraud ring in early March. Then, during an investigation into another robbery, police learned that a suspect in the case had a map to her residence on his mobile telephone.

That suspect told police that an accomplice providing instructions had told him “that there should still be 7 million yen in the house.”

Police then requested that the woman move to another location. However, she declined, only agreeing to having security cameras installed inside her residence.

Police said that the suspects in the Nerima case carried out the crime after responding to a post on Twitter about “underground work” in which the remuneration was high.

Police suspect that several criminal rings were working together and sharing information in targeting the woman.