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Tochigi cop stole ¥3 million watch from corpse to ‘cover debts’

TOCHIGI (TR) – Tochigi Prefectural Police have arrested an officer over the alleged theft of a high-end wristwatch from a dead body during an investigation in Utsunomiya City last month, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Sept. 19).

Sometime between 10:00 a.m. and 12:40 p.m. on August 16, Michio Nidaira, a 35-year-old sergeant stationed at the Utsuomiya-Chuo Police Station, allegedly stole the watch, valued at 3 million yen, from the body of a man at his residence.

“I did it to cover debts,” Nidaira was quoted by police in admitting to the allegations.

Prior to the incident, Nidaira and seven other officers arrived at the residence to investigate the death of the man, which was deemed to have been due to natural causes.

Afterward, Nidaira sold the watch at a second-hand shop in another prefecture for at least 2 million yen. During the exchange, the suspect told the clerk that he was a police officer. Sensing something was wrong, the clerk then telephoned Tochigi Prefectural Police.

Any punishment to be handed out to Nidaira is under consideration, police said.

“It is truly regrettable that a police officer caused such a problem,” said Hiroyuski Fujita, a representative of the Tochigi Prefectural Police. “After examining the facts of the case, we will deal with the matter harshly.”