Police in Chiba are hunting down a robber believed to be behind a string of stabbing attacks in the Akebono district in Kashiwa, leaving one man dead and three others wounded.
A man in his 20s or 30s was stabbed to death by a knife-wielding assailant late Monday. Police said they rushed to the scene after receiving an emergency call from a woman saying there was a person bleeding heavily on the street. He suffered stab wounds to his neck and back and was rushed to hospital, but died soon after.
Several business cards were found near the unidentified victim but his wallet was nowhere in sight, police said.
Similar crimes took place 100 meters away from the site of the stabbing, authorities said. Three other people were robbed at knife point within 10 minutes of the initial stabbing, including a 25-year-old man who suffered a minor injury on his left hand.
A 44-year-old victim said the assailant told him he “had already killed” someone and forced the man to hand over his wallet.
The fourth victim, a 47-year-old man, was robbed of his car when he stopped and got out to help one of the victims who was lying on the street. The suspect climbed in the car and fled the scene.
Police later found the vehicle with the engine running in front of a convenience store about 1.5 kilometers northeast from where it had been stolen.
Authorities have launched a robbery and murder investigation into the crimes they believe were committed by the same person. The attacker was described as 170-175 centimeters tall, wearing a black zip-up jacket, a knit hat, sunglasses and a face mask. About 200 police officers are already sweeping the area in search of the culprit.
By Maesie Bertumen
Main image: Flickr/gen_genxx