National / Crime & Legal

Yomiuri Giant minor leaguer arrested on suspicion of stealing equipment from teammates

Kyodo

Police arrested a former minor league outfielder in the Yomiuri Giants organization Sunday on suspicion of stealing a uniform and other items from teammates.

Takahiro Kakizawa, 23, was quoted by the police as saying that he stole the goods because he had “trouble making a living.”

The Central League club terminated its contract with Kakizawa on Saturday, alleging that in May and June he stole roughly 110 items, including bats and gloves, mostly from big league players. He reportedly sold them to two stores in Tokyo dealing in used brand-made items.

According to the police, images from a security camera show Kakizawa taking a minor league player’s uniform top worth ¥20,000 from a locker room June 21 at the Giants’ facility in Kawasaki.

Kakizawa began his pro career with the Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles before being traded to the Giants in December 2016. He has never appeared in a big league game.