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‘Love of buses’ trips up Osaka man

Kyodo

A 36-year-old self-proclaimed bus lover from Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture, was arrested Thursday for stealing bus destination sign rolls, police said.

Police found about 1,000 destination signs and stacks of bus magazines at the home of Naoki Murata, an office worker who owned up to the charge.

Murata, who told the police “I just love buses,” also revealed that he did it because “it makes me really happy to see the place where I live displayed on the signs.” The man confessed that he started collecting destination signs back in high school, but started stealing them about three or four years ago, police said.

Murata also confessed that he sold about 200 signs he no longer needed on the Internet, raking in ¥1.4 million, police said. They are checking whether those were also stolen from buses.

Murata was arrested for allegedly stealing two destination signs late at night on March 17 after sneaking into a Hankyu Bus Co. bus parked at a depot in Yodogawa Ward in the city of Osaka. Placed on the side and rear of the bus, the revolving signs were worth about ¥600,000.

Hankyu Bus filed a criminal complaint in mid-March.