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Alleged Osaka bag snatcher made 10 mil. yen in a year.

OSAKA, Nov. 29 Kyodo

An unemployed man who was arrested in Osaka Prefecture in August and indicted on theft charges made more than 10 million yen in one year since he began snatching bags last fall, police sources said Wednesday.

Akira Yamasaki, a 36-year-old resident of Osaka-Sayama, has confessed to snatching about 400 bags in the year or so to his arrest, the sources said. The figure may rise to 500, with the damage totaling more than 11 million yen, the sources said.

Osaka is reputed to lead all prefectures in such crimes.

Yamasaki began snatching bags around fall 2000 and quit his job as a driver after he met with success in the criminal enterprise, they said.

Yamasaki was arrested Aug. 11 during one of his bag-snatching acts in Kawachi-Nagano, Osaka Prefecture. That day, he allegedly rode by a 32-year-old woman on a moped and grabbed a paper bag containing about 27,000 yen.

His victims were mostly elderly people, even those in their 90s, the sources said. Similar snatching cases had occurred frequently in central and southern Osaka, but since Yamasaki's arrest, they fell sharply in some areas.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Dec 3, 2001
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