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Men ram car into Costco store during precious metals robbery in southwestern Japan

The entrance to a Costco outlet, which a car rammed into during a robbery, is seen in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Nov. 12, 2019. (Mainichi/Fumito Tsushima)

KITAKYUSHU -- A Costco supermarket here was robbed of precious metals after a group of men rammed a car into its entrance early on Nov. 12, police said.

    At around 5:25 a.m., a worker at the supermarket in Yahatanishi Ward in the southwestern Japan city of Kitakyushu called police, saying, "A car plowed into our outlet and we had our merchandise stolen." Fukuoka Prefectural Police's Orio Police Station has launched an investigation into the suspected theft and is searching for the suspects.

    According to the police station, after a car drove into the shutters at the entrance of the members-only supermarket, a group of several men broke into the establishment and smashed open a showcase near the entrance. They then made off with precious metals in a car.

    It is believed that necklaces and several other items were stolen, and investigators are trying to quickly determine the value of the stolen items.

    There were around 20 staffers inside the store at the time of the theft, preparing for the opening hour, but none of them were injured. Some workers witnessed at least two men fleeing after the break-in.

    The outlet opened its doors to customers at 10 a.m. as usual.

    The supermarket is located in a new residential area about 3 kilometers north of JR Orio Station.

    (Japanese original by Fumito Tsushima and Hiroya Miyagi, Kyushu News Department)

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