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Mie man used Go To Travel to go bag-snatching in Tokyo

TOKYO (TR) – It wasn’t what the government had in mind.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested a 52-year-old man from Mie Prefecture who is suspected of using a government-supported campaign to travel to the capital to carry out a bag theft, reports NHK (Jan. 17).

At around 2:00 p.m. on October 9, Eiji Takami allegedly used a rented motorbike to approach a woman, 69, from behind on a road in Adachi Ward and snatch her bag containing about 8,000 yen in cash.

The woman was not hurt in the incident, police said.

Upon his arrest on January 16, Takami denied the allegations. “I shot YouTube videos,” the suspect told police.

Eiji Takami (Twitter)

Takami lives in Nabari City, Mie. Three days before the incident, the suspect took a bus to the capital. He had reserved the motorbike from a shop in advance. He stayed at a hotel for three nights, police said.

To pay for the hotel, Takami used the government’s Go To Travel discount program, which was in effect last year to encourage tourism amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Takami surfaced as a person of interest in the incident after an examination of security camera footage.