This image taken from the laundromat's surveillance camera footage shows two men stealing money on Oct 1. Photo: YouTube

Police looking for coin laundry theft gang


Police in Tokyo are looking for two men and possibly an accomplice believed to have stolen at least 9 million yen since August by forcibly opening coin laundry machines operated by the same chain in the Tokyo metropolitan area.

According to police, coin laundromats were broken into and money change machines were destroyed in 37 locations in Tokyo, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures, and about 9 million yen was stolen.

The laundromat chain operator has suffered losses of over 200 million yen, including the cost of repairs, Fuji TV reported. Surveillance camera footage taken during one robbery at around 11 p.m. on Oct 2 showed two men using electric power tools and crowbars to destroy the money change machines within several minutes.

Police believe a third man stands outside the laundromat in each case, acting as a lookout.

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What’s the point of even having video surveillance if they’re still getting away with it after 37 times. Serious thought needs to be given to an immediate bolstering of the number of cops tasked with investigating these coin laundry robberies.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

This is why I scoff at the Japanese term "bohan" (crime prevention) camera. Its a surveillance camera in English cause that's all it really does.

At about 90,000 USD collected so far, these guys are averaging about 2,500 USD a job between 3 of them over about 2 months....a monthly "salary" of about 15,000 dollars each. That's a pretty good haul.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No mention of them doing their laundry during the heist?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How about giving the name of the laundry chain, so people know if those guys might be coming to their neighborhood?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The tv news last night showed the owner has consulted with the change machine manufacturer and installed more theft resistant parts. I wonder if they have cashless options for payment? I wouldn’t want to see them go completely cashless but giving the option (if they don’t already have it) could help decrease the amount of cash on the premises.

On tv I’ve seen some exclusive member only laundries in Tokyo that don’t require coins and they look pretty safe for the users and owners alike but the chain in these cases are just ordinary ones used by ordinary folk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The owner you mention being interviewed, Educator60, said that despite the extra tough clamping bolt and heavy chain they have continued to break through those too, with rotary saws and heavy-duty bolt cutters.

It is a little surprising that after 37 similar robberies in such a small area the cops have not yet busted this gang.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

How come they are not fitted with silent alarms that trigger when the machines are broken into? The type that alerts the cops and they can rush over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nandakandaamanda, thanks for that information, which is a disappointment. 24-hour unstaffed operations certainly have their risks. Hope they figure out something to make the places more secure because even if they catch this gang soon there’s bound to be someone else who gets the idea to copy their methods.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

is it only a coincidence they are hitting the save franchise every time? Perhaps there is a little more too this. The cash and machines are all insured.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Looks like they got away clean...

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looks like they got away clean...

Badum tish

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Money Laundering ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A simple remedy! Use cards that can only be refilled at the combini or at an atm. By doing this, the owners would remove ALL monies from his business branches.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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