National / Crime & Legal

Woman arrested for releasing cockroaches in Kobe supermarket


A 56-year-old woman was arrested for allegedly releasing cockroaches in a supermarket in Kobe.

Toshiko Nagase, an office clerk at an elementary school, is suspected of placing a bag containing more than 10 cockroaches near a fresh fish display in the store at around 11:20 p.m. June 26. She stands accused of trying to sabotage sanitary conditions in the supermarket and thus obstructing its business operations.

Nagase denied the charge, claiming her actions were aimed at helping the cockroaches live.

“I had no intention of interfering with (the store’s) business,” she told the Hyogo Prefectural Police.

Video footage from a surveillance camera inside the supermarket showed a woman placing the bag in the fish section. On July 4, an employee spotted Nagase and, believing she looked similar to the woman in the footage, notified the police.

Nagase told the police she caught the cockroaches when they were swarming around her cat’s food.