Japanese police station vice chief dies by apparent suicide after being accused of shoplifting

Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters (Mainichi/Taichi Kaizuka)

SAPPORO — A deputy chief of a police station in Asahikawa, Hokkaido, under investigation for suspected shoplifting, was found dead on June 21 in an apparent suicide.

The vice-chief of the Fukagawa police station, in his 50s, had admitted the allegation, the Hokkaido Prefectural Police’s Mainichi Shimbun learned on June 29. He was later found dead in the prefectural capital Sapporo. The police intend to send documents on the theft case to the prosecutors.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, the sous chef was caught by a security guard walking out of an Asahikawa supermarket on June 18 with snacks he had not paid for. An officer from the Asahikawachuo Police Station called to the scene asked him to come to the police station voluntarily. When questioned, the vice-chef reportedly admitted to stealing the snacks, worth a few hundred yen (a few dollars).

The vice chief was ordered to stay at his home in Sapporo while prefectural police investigated the case because he was unlikely to destroy evidence. He was found dead on the premises of a university in the city on June 21.

The force announced on June 23 that it would appoint a senior officer from the Asahikawa area police headquarters as the new deputy chief of the Fukagawa police station, with the appointment taking effect July 1. public suicide.

(Japanese original by Takumi Taniguchi, Hokkaido News Department)

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