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The number of crimes committed by foreigners in Japan in the first half of 2000 dropped slightly from a year earlier, but thefts and burglaries are on the rise, according to a survey by the National Police Agency released Thursday.

The survey stated that 5,826 foreigners were arrested during the six-month period for 14,963 suspected violations of the Criminal Code and laws such as the immigration and refugees law.

The figures represent a decline of 0.7 percent in the number of cases and a fall of 8.4 percent in the number of suspects.

However, looking only at Criminal Code violations, cases were up 7.2 percent and the number of suspects held rose 8.9 percent, the survey said.

Of the burglaries committed by foreigners, 78.6 percent were allegedly committed by Chinese, and of car thefts, 85 percent were allegedly committed by Brazilians, the survey said.

About 49.6 percent of the thefts were believed to have been perpetrated by two or more people.

The statistics reflect an increase in illegal activities by foreign organized crime syndicates, the NPA said.

Among reported Criminal Code offenses, the number of foreigners committing purse-snatching stood at 112, three times the number in the same period last year, while auto thefts rose to 147, up 84 percent. There were 2,829 burglaries, up 53 percent.

Foreign juveniles were suspects in 860 Criminal Code violations, up 13.9 percent, among which 649, or 75.5 percent, involved Brazilian minors, the survey said.

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