Police say Fukuoka gold robbers may have fled to Tokyo or nearby

Police have identified people suspected of the April robbery of ¥384 million from a gold buyer in Fukuoka Prefecture, and believe the robbers later switched cars and fled to Tokyo, investigative sources have said.

The robbery occurred in a parking lot near a Mizuho Bank branch in the city of Fukuoka on April 20. Two men sprayed a 29-year-old employee of a precious metals shop in Tokyo with a substance, and stole his bag containing the cash he had just withdrawn from the bank to buy gold bullion.

The robbers then jumped into a minivan which was waiting with a driver and fled the scene, according to the employee’s testimony and security cameras around the crime scene.

In late April police found a white Honda Step WGN minivan believed to have been used in the getaway. The vehicle was found on the premises of a business which is not believed to be connected to the culprits, sources said Friday.

None of the stolen cash nor the carry-on bag containing it was found in the vehicle, and the stolen license plate originally attached to the minivan had been removed, they said.

Police, who traced the change in cars through surveillance camera footage, are looking into whether the robbers may be based in or near Tokyo.

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