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Two held using app to steal e-books

Kyodo, Staff Report

Two men have been arrested for allegedly using an illegal app for smartphones and similar devices to steal more than ¥200,000 worth of electronic books from an online bookstore, police said.

It is the first time police have investigated e-book theft.

Takahito Kano, 33, of Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture, and Shuho Kikuzawa, 41, of Toyonaka, Osaka Prefecture, were charged Monday with acquiring e-books using an application that sends a false message to an online store’s server that a payment has been completed. Both admitted the wrongdoing.

Kano is accused of stealing 187 e-books last August from Kinoppy, an online bookstore operated by the well-known Kinokuniya chain. They were worth ¥156,500. He allegedly used the illegal app on his iPhone and other devices.

Kikuzawa was charged with steeling 72 e-books worth ¥49,650 in October in a similar way.

The application Kano used is reportedly called iAP Cracker, which is only compatible with devices using the iOS system such as iPhones or iPads, and is not approved by Apple Inc.

Investigators say the two may have also been involved in illegally obtaining about 2,000 electronic manga and other books worth ¥1.5 million from Kinoppy through November.