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Saitama man steals ¥3.9 million at SKE48 event in Osaka

Members of SKE48
Members of SKE48

OSAKA (TR) – Osaka Prefectural Police on Sunday arrested a 21-year-old male company employee for allegedly robbing proceeds from an event featuring popular idol group SKE48 in Suminoe Ward, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (Dec 14).

Ryota Kawabata, a resident of Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture, is alleged to have entered a restricted area and stolen about 3.88 million yen in cash obtained through the sale of CDs and other items during a meet-and-greet event for fans of the Nagoya-based group at exhibit hall Intex Osaka.

Kawabata, who has been charged with theft, admits to the allegations. He told police that he spotted the cash inside a plastic while he waited in line. “I thought that if I were to take the money I could use it to pursue hobbies,” the suspect is quoted by officers from the Suminoe Police Station.

After the theft, a 34-year-old male staff member chased the suspect for approximately 300 meters before apprehending him.

SKE48 is a sister unit of Tokyo-based group AKB48.