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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hiromi Oshima | Jobless man indicted over 2-yen theft from temple offertory box

A jobless man is standing trial on charges of theft after stealing just two yen from an offertory box at a temple here late last month, prosecutors said.
Seiji Kondo, 27, a resident of Hyogo-ku, Kobe, admitted to the allegations during questioning. "I stole money because I had difficulties financing my living expenses," he was quoted as telling investigators. Kondo had earlier been charged with theft.
Although he stole only two yen, police chose to arrest him for fear that he might escape. "Even though it was a small amount of money, it was definitely property. He might have fled unless he had been taken into custody," a police official said.
At around 6 a.m. on Oct. 24, Kondo stole two yen from an offertory box at a temple in Hyogo-ku, Kobe, local police said. A temple employee spotted Kondo shifting the offertory box and alerted police. Officers rushed to the scene and took Kondo into custody.
The box contained only two yen because temple employees had just emptied it.
Temple administrators had installed a surveillance camera on its premises because money was frequently stolen from its four offertory boxes.


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