Romanian Nationals Arrested in Japan over Stealing ¥1.68 mil.

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Hyogo prefectural police headquarters

KOBE — Police have arrested three Romanian nationals on suspicion of pickpocketing in five prefectures, including Tokyo, Osaka and Hyogo, amounting to a total of about ¥1.68 million, it was learned.

The three men, who are currently on trial, told police they came to Japan for the purpose of stealing because Japanese people are not as cautious about crime prevention, making them easy targets.

The police arrested the men in January and sent the charges of 25 counts of theft and 1 count of attempted theft to prosecutors by Tuesday.

According to investigative sources, the group stole wallets from people on escalators and elevators at stations or other locations where they could easily get close to them without arousing suspicion, even during the pandemic. Police were able to identify the three men by analyzing security footage.

The crimes were committed in December 2019 and between December 2022 and January 2023. The police suspect they targeted people around the New Year holiday period when people carried large amounts of cash for travel and other purposes.

The men told police it was easy to steal because many people in Japan do not keep an eye on their belongings.