A man in Ibaraki has been arrested in relation to over 300 cases of vandalism and robbery from vending machines, police said Tuesday.
The man, who has been named as 42-year-old truck driver Kennichi Hirose, is accused of vandalizing two vending machines located at a Tsukuba construction site and stealing 8,730 yen, TV Asahi reported. Hirose is believed to have used crowbars and metal cutters to pry open the front panels of the machines and steal the cash storage boxes.
Police say that Hirose is accused of carrying out similar crimes in Ibaraki, Chiba and Saitama prefectures. They believe that Hirose may be responsible for up to 332 similar cases that have been reported since April 2010. Estimates put the amount stolen at around 4 million yen.
During police questioning, Hirose was quoted as saying he used the money to spend on himself.