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Summit construction boom attracts crooks

Date Posted: 2000-02-04

Crooks from mainland Japan have not missed the ongoing construction boom in the prefecture, considering the discovery in the prefecture of 21 stolen power shovels and other construction machinery.

According to investigation by Saitama Prefecture Police and Tokyo Metropolitan Police, a 59-year-old owner of a junk yard and a 56-year old construction company president had stolen a power shovel from a construction site in Saitama Prefecture and carried in on a truck to Yokohama for shipping to Okinawa. However, a worker of the company that the machine belonged to saw it been carried away on a truck and called the police on his cell phone. The police stopped the truck and the junk yard owner driving the truck immediately confessed that the machine on the bed was stolen.

When questioned further the man said that because of all the construction going on in Okinawa in preparation for the 2000 Summit, itís easy to find buyers for construction machinery here.

Okinawa, Saitama Prefecture Police and Tokyo Metropolitan Police have now formed a joint task force to investigate the thefts. According to police sources, more than 40 such machines valued at a total of •80 million have been stolen in Tokyo, Saitama and Kanagawa Prefectures. 21 of those have so far been found in Okinawa.

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