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Fugitive arrested after registering residency to get Japan's 100,000-yen virus cash handout

The Saitama Prefectural Police headquarters are seen in Saitama, Saitama Prefecture, on Feb. 20, 2019. (Mainichi/Takuya Suzuki)

SAITAMA -- An unemployed man wanted on suspicion of robbery and other crimes has been arrested after he registered his residency to receive the government's 100,000-yen coronavirus cash handout, police said on June 26.

The 67-year-old man from the city of Warabi in Saitama Prefecture north of Tokyo, is specifically accused of breaking into a pub in the prefectural city of Kawaguchi on Dec. 6, 2019, and stealing around 20,000 yen in cash, along with three items worth a total of 7,100 yen including a cash register. He has denied the allegations against him.

According to the Saitama Prefectural Police's third investigation division, security camera footage and other evidence pointed to the man's alleged involvement in the robbery. He was put on a wanted list on March 23 after he went missing.

Police discovered earlier this month that he had registered his residency after making an inquiry with the municipal government in Warabi, where one of the man's acquaintances resides. He was found by an investigator at a pachinko parlor in the city on June 24. The man reportedly told police that he registered his residency "in May or June to receive the cash handout," guaranteed by the national government to all residents in Japan to offset some of the economic hardship resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Japanese original by Yuki Nakagawa, Saitama Bureau)

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