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Spate of bag-snatching robberies hit Hyogo, Nagoya.

KOBE, June 18 Kyodo

Six women were robbed of their handbags in two neighboring cities in Hyogo Prefecture on Tuesday while the police in Nagoya reported three bag-snatching incidents also involving female victims.

In Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, meanwhile, the police said they arrested a 20-year-old man on Tuesday on suspicion of snatching a handbag from a woman on a bicycle.

The police said the suspect, Hideyuki Taura, is a habitual bag-snatcher who allegedly told investigators that he has snatched bags so many times that he does not remember how many times he has done.

''Maybe as many as seven times in one day,'' Taura allegedly told police investigators and said he stole 2 million yen altogether.

Hyogo police said the six cases of bag snatching took place within three hours in a 3-kilometer radius in Nishinomiya and Ashiya on Tuesday afternoon.

The police the six victims, including a 77-year-old woman pushing a bicycle, said they were robbed on the street by a man who approached them from behind on a mini-motorcycle. The six women were robbed about 220,000 yen in cash.

The police suspect the six cases of snatching were committed by the same person.

In Nagoya, the police said the three victims, all riding on bicycles, told investigators they were robbed by a man on a motorcycle wearing a black helmet.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:Jun 24, 2003
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