• Kyodo


A 40-year-old man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of attempting to rob a bank in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture, armed with nothing but a ball-point pen, police said.

The suspect, who identified himself as Shinichi Ito of no fixed address, entered the Okazaki branch of Aichi Bank at around 2:50 p.m.

He handed a female teller a slip of paper bearing the phrase “hand money over” while flashing a ball-point pen, according to police.

When his overtures were ignored, he jumped onto the counter and started shouting threats.

None of the bank employees responded to his demands and Ito gave up and fled, police said.

He was caught about 50 meters from the bank after being chased down by bank staff and a male customer. He was handed over to police who arrived later at the scene, investigators said.

In response to police questioning, Ito, who said he was unemployed, was quoted as saying he had not eaten for days and needed money. “I tried to flee because I got scared,” he reportedly said.

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