Police arrested the suspect, identified as office worker Tsuyoshi Nagaya, for one robbery in Nagoya, but said they plan to charge him with another that took place in Gifu Prefecture. Investigators say they believe he may have committed other robberies within the two prefectures and that they are currently accumulating evidence to strengthen their case.
According to police, Nagaya told his wife he was going out to a night job when robbing stores. He would then return home and hand her the stolen money, telling her it was his wage.
Nagaya allegedly researched his crimes online where webpages exist that explain how to rob Sukiya restaurants. The restaurant was, until recently, considered an easy target for criminals and has been the subject of several robberies recently.
According to police, a Sukiya robber’s “manual” exists online, as well as a map indicating which stores have been hit recently. Police believe Nagaya based his crimes on this information.
A police spokesman said, “We believe one of the reasons Sukiya has been seen as a soft target is because there are periods of time during which there is only one member of staff on duty.”
Following the revelations that a systematic and coordinated network of robbers was targeting Sukiya stores, parent company Zensho told the press, “We have been cooperating closely with the police and working hard to tighten our security. We’ve seen a steep decline in the number of robberies recently.”