The number of crimes committed by nonpermanent resident foreigners in the first six months of this year jumped 25.8 percent from a year earlier to 15,424, the National Police Agency said Thursday.

The NPA attributed the rise mostly to the fivefold increase in the number of additional car-related crimes police handled after suspects were arrested. The figure grew to 2,171. Vending machine vandalization and shoplifting cases also increased.

The number of foreigners committing crimes during the same period rose by 15.3 percent from the year before to 7,589, the agency added.

“The growth doesn’t mean the number of crimes has surged over the past year, it’s the result of unearthing additional crimes” committed by suspects who had been arrested, an NPA official said.

Serious crimes, including murder, robbery and arson, increased 18.2 percent from a year earlier to 162 cases, involving 183 foreigners.

Of them, 126 victimized Japanese, an 11.7 percentage point drop from the year before, police said.

The number of criminal code offenses committed by foreigners grew the most in the Chubu region, where the figure soared about 360 percent from a year earlier to 4,298.

The rise is attributed to 600 theft and robbery cases in Aichi and six other prefectures involving a ring of Brazilians of Japanese descent.

Chinese nationals accounted for 33.9 percent of the foreign offenders police collared between January and June, topping the list as in the year before.

They are followed by Brazilians, who accounted for 23.4 percent of the offenders, up about 210 percent from a year earlier.

Of the serious crimes committed during the same period, robbery soared 25 percent to 130 cases, comprising the vast majority, while murders dropped by three to 16.

In 54.8 percent of criminal offenses committed by foreigners, the perpetrators acted in concert with others. That is about three times the rate for offenses committed by Japanese.

Of the criminal cases, 46.8 percent were perpetrated by groups of four or more, the agency said.

The total number of criminal cases nationwide in the first half of this year grew 4.9 percent from a year earlier to a record 1,351,727, the NPA said in a report issued in August.

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