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Junk collectors in Aichi acquitted in trial over stolen air-conditioning unit

Kyodo

The Okazaki branch of the Nagoya District Court has acquitted three Peruvians of trying to steal an air-conditioning unit from a residence in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, in March 2012, lawyers said Wednesday.

The defendants, including Segura Valverde Cesar, 38, were arrested on charges of attempted robbery on March 21, 2012, for allegedly cutting the pipe of the outside air conditioning unit with the intention of stealing it.

Prosecutors argued that the three, who were collecting waste at the time, had attempted to steal the equipment. They countered that they thought the old unit was supposed to be disposed of. Nobody was at home, so they consulted a woman who was nearby. They claimed that she called her husband and then gave them permission to collect the unit.

Although the woman testified that she did not give any permission, Judge Koshi Kunii said her behavior at the time could be interpreted as giving the green light. Kunii also pointed out that the three defendants did not flee the scene.