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OSAKA — Purse-snatchings in Osaka Prefecture have drastically declined in the first quarter of this year, but the prefecture maintains its 23-year reign at the top of the list in terms of incidence of such crimes, police said Tuesday.

Osaka Prefectural Police said 1,648 purse-snatching cases were reported during the first three months of the year, down some 20 percent from the 2,153 cases logged over the same period last year.

The prefecture saw 10,300 purse-snatchings last year, with the figure accounting for about 30 percent of all cases filed in the country. Tokyo was second on the list with about 5,600.

Police said the cost of last year’s snatchings amounted to some 800 million yen, including about 400 million yen in cash. They said about 80 percent of all suspects arrested or taken into custody were junior high and high school students and unemployed teenagers.

Such larcenies have shown a sharp rise during school breaks, especially in summer, police added.

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