News 2 Teens Arrested for Thefts at K-On! Model School
posted on 2011-02-04 01:17 EST
Police in Wakayama Prefecture arrested an unemployed 18-year-old male from Shirahama Town and a 17-year-old male from Tanabe City on Friday afternoon for allegedly stealing guitars and character figures from the real-life model for the K-ON! anime's school.
According to the police investigation, the two suspects broke into the display area in the former campus of Toyosato Elementary School in Shiga Prefecture on November 17 at around 1:30 a.m. The suspects allegedly stole about 20 character figures, three guitars similar to those seen in the anime, and two cash boxes with several hundred thousand yen (about several thousand U.S. dollars).
Police in Tanabe arrested the 18-year-old suspect in December for allegedly stealing cash from local supermarkets, offices, and other places. During a search of the older suspect's home, the police discovered figures and other items. According to the police, the suspects said that they liked K-ON! so they wanted the figures. The police believe the two are associates of a group that repeatedly broke into offices in their prefecture.
In 2009, Kyoto Animation modeled the K-ON! anime's fictional Sakuragaoka High School after the Toyosato campus, which was being repurposed since new school facilities were built. In the year between May 2009 and May 2010, about 40,000 fans visited the campus, and over 1,000 goods were put on display. The guitars and 22 figures that were stolen were all given by fans, and the cash box contained proceeds from the on-campus shop. On November 19, the guitars, an empty cash box, and other items were discovered in a ditch at a field near the campus.
Update: More background information added.
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