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Pair posed as gas inspectors in Higashimurayama break-in

TOKYO (TR) – Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested two men over the alleged break-in of an elderly couple’s residence in Higashimurayama City, reports the Tokyo Shimbun (Oct. 27).

On September 20, Suguru Takaesu, 23, and Tomiya Ishida, 22, posed as gas line inspectors in gaining access to the residence.

The suspects then allegedly assaulted the occupants, an 86-year-old man and his 79-year-old wife.

“Where’s the money?” one of the suspects demanded.

The pair fled the scene empty-handed upon the arrival of the couple’s son. The 86-year-old man suffered unspecified injuries that required 10 days to heal, police said.

Upon his arrest on Tuesday, Takaesu admitted to the allegations. However, Ishida partially denied the charges.

The suspects were recruited via an online listing for “underground part-time work.” They then received instructions about the crime from another party through the messaging app Telegram, whose messages disappear after a certain period of time.

“The day of the incident was the first time we met,” one of the suspects said.

In carrying out the crime, the pair jumped atop the victims as they were taken around to the bathroom and kitchen.

Suguru Takaesu, left, and Tomiya Ishida (Twitter)


Police apprehended the suspects after an examination of security camera footage.

Police believe the couple was the victim of a scam known as apoden (appointment telephone). In such cases, the victims are asked about money and valuables on hand over the telephone prior to a home invasion or other crime.

The couple is believed to have received such a call in September of last year.

Police are aware of more than a dozen of such cases that have taken place in other parts of the Kanto area, including in Kanagawa and Chiba prefectures.