OSAKA -- A total of 23 water meters, worth around 53,000 yen (about $510) in total, were stolen from a prefectural housing complex in the city of Suita, Osaka Prefecture, in western Japan, the city's waterworks department announced on Jan. 7.
The Suita City Government has filed a damage report with the Osaka Prefectural Police's Suita Police Station.
According to the city government, a resident reported to an apartment caretaker on Dec. 31 that their water supply had been cut off, and the city government launched an investigation after receiving a report on Jan. 4. Officials confirmed that water meters had been stolen from seven apartment buildings. Altogether, 22 of the 23 stolen meters were taken from vacant apartments, while 20 were located on the first floor.
Water meters are kept in compartments outside the entrance of each apartment. It seems that the water meters were removed after the valves were shut off.
(Japanese original by Mari Misumi, Osaka Bureau)