MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. - A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of stealing a trademark Peko-chan doll from a Fujiya Co. confectionery shop, police in Gunma Prefecture said Monday.
The man, whose name was not released, was arrested for allegedly stealing the doll from atop a glass counter at a Fujiya store in the town of Ogo, Gunma Prefecture, at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday while buying cake.
The doll, which came with a built-in music box, measured some 50 cm in height.
The confectioner said 31 of its stores in 9 eastern prefectures have had their life-size Peko-chan dolls stolen from storefronts, and police said they were questioning the suspect to see whether he was linked to the other thefts.
The suspect was quoted as telling investigators that he had planned to sell the doll in an Internet auction.
Although Peko-chan dolls are not for sale, they are traded among avid fans, and life-size ones, which are about 110 cm tall, can reportedly sell for at least 100,000 yen.