Massive Shoplifting Spree at Uniqlo; 3 Vietnamese Women Arrested

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The logo of Uniqlo

OSAKA — Three Vietnamese women in their 30s and 40s were arrested in Osaka City on suspicion of shoplifting a large amount of merchandise from a Uniqlo clothing store, according to Osaka prefectural police sources.

Uniqlo products are popular in Vietnam. One of the three was quoted as saying, “I came to Japan to shoplift and did it many times.” Police suspect that they intended to bring the stolen merchandise to Vietnam.

The three were arrested on suspicion of stealing 37 bras (equivalent to ¥84,700) from a Uniqlo store in Tsurumi Ward, Osaka, at around noon on Feb. 1. They were identified primarily by security camera footage.

Uniqlo stores in Osaka Prefecture saw a series of thefts in which women’s jackets and underwear worth ¥2.8 million were stolen between late January and early February.

At the time of the crime, one of three women was putting items in a bag while the two others were standing around her to block the view of staff and bystanders, according to police. A man who was watching outside the store is also believed to be an accomplice, but he escaped.

The three were acquaintances and came to Japan on Jan. 25 with short-stay visas. They were staying at a private lodging in Osaka.

Uniqlo has been targeted by groups of Vietnamese shoplifters in other parts of the country. In Fukuoka Prefecture, four men and women in their 30s and 40s were arrested on Feb. 6. Police said that they had repeatedly entered Japan to shoplift, a total of 66 times.