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3 burglars tie up elderly couple, make off with 4 mil. yen in Tokyo after 'appointment call'

TOKYO -- Three men disguised as police officers broke into a Tokyo home, tied up an elderly couple and made off with 4 million yen on Feb. 1, a few days after the residence received a suspicious call asking if cash was available there -- possibly an "appointment call" for the burglary, according to people close to the investigation.

Officials at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD)'s Yoyogi Police Station said that a woman in her 70s at the home in the capital's Shibuya Ward called to report the burglary at around 8:40 a.m. The three men used cable ties to fasten up the hands of the woman and her husband in his 80s before escaping with the cash. None of the victims was injured.

According to the people close to the probe, an "appointment call" is often used in connection with fraud and other crimes. A similar telephone inquiry was made to another home near the Feb. 1 crime scene before three men broke in and stole 20 million yen on Jan. 11. The MPD is investigating if those two cases are linked.

(Japanese original by Yoshitaka Yamamoto, City News Department)

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