• Kyodo


A former bank security guard was arrested Sunday for stealing money from bank cash dispensers. Police said they will also begin investigating him on suspicion of murder, based on his confession.

Hiroyuki Chiba, 42, allegedly stole about 19.34 million yen from Asahi Bank’s Shin-Sayama branch in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture, between 2:40 a.m. and 4:50 a.m. on April 30.

He is suspected of taking a spare bank key from a security guard who was found dead the same day, as he told police, “I killed Mr. Matsutani and stole the spare key for the bank from his car.”

Police have confiscated four cash storage boxes and about 6 million yen from Chiba’s home in the prefectural city of Warabi.

Takeru Matsutani, 26, the security guard, was found dead with a kitchen knife lodged in his back. Police said the body was found at Sayama civic center prior to the robbery. The bank is about 3 km from the center.

Matsutani was on night monitoring duty in nearby Kawagoe. He went to the civic center alone after its security alarm went off around 1 a.m., police said.

Chiba was a security guard until July 1997 at the same company where Matsutani worked, police said, adding that Chiba was once in charge of bank security.

Chiba became a taxi driver afterward in Saitama. He was off on the night of the robbery, police added.

Police will also investigate the whereabouts of the rest of the missing money.

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