• Kyodo

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A 19-year-old male arrested over online videos purportedly showing him tampering with food and shoplifting in convenience stores has told investigators he faked the videos.

He claimed he made the YouTube movies because he wanted to “become famous,” the police said Monday.

“I didn’t shoplift because I didn’t want to get arrested,” officers quoted him as saying.

The teen, from Mitaka, western Tokyo, whose name has been withheld because he is a minor, was arrested Sunday on burglary charges. He is suspected of entering a convenience store in Musashino, western Tokyo, at around 7 p.m. on Jan. 5 for the purposes of shooting an illicit video.

The boy is also suspected of posting 80 videos on the Internet showing him sticking toothpicks into packages of snacks on store shelves and stealing drinks. He began posting the videos in mid-December, with the latest appearing on Sunday.

Of the 80 videos, 26 appeared to show thefts, but authorities are now examining whether the boy had indeed faked them.

He also allegedly posted a video in early January in which he apparently opened a packaged pastry before putting it back on the shelf in a Tokyo supermarket. The store reported the case to the police, who said they are also looking into possible charges of fraudulent obstruction of business.

After a manhunt lasting several days, the teen was taken into custody Sunday morning in Maibara, Shiga Prefecture. He was transferred to the Tachikawa branch of Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Monday.

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