The city of Numazu is the holy land for fans of Love Live! Sunshine!! And the city loves the fans, as they bring much-needed revenue from tourism. They even created custom Love Live! Sunshine!! manhole covers to attract even more tourists. However, vandals defaced a few of these manholes, prompting the city to pull them out.
— 沼津市議 小澤 隆（りゅう） (@llllnumazullll) June 5, 2018
However, it seems that police have found out who these vandals are and arrested them. But both of them are minors, so police kept their identities a secret. The first suspect is a 17-year-old from Kasukabe, Saitama, while the second suspect comes from Nerima, Tokyo. While they’re not from the same high school, both are actually friends. Police suspected them after a video was shared on social media.
Before they were vandalized, the manhole covers drew the attention of several pranksters and vandals. Several videos surfaced on social media, just like the one below.
ここで今日の沼津を振り返ってみまヨーソロー(*> ᴗ •*)ゞ！！！ pic.twitter.com/xA9E47xfAi
— こ う ち ゃ そ（公式） (@syaruhakasudayo) May 27, 2018
While the video just seems like it was a prank, people have found scratches on the You cover. Someone then painted over it on the same week. The people of Numazu later found that Dia’s manhole cover was vandalized as well. Currently, police are investigating whether or not more people are involved.
The city government itself released a statement following the arrests of the two suspected vandals. They said that they “strongly hope” that such incidences won’t happen in the future.
The city also plans to reinstall these manhole covers once the investigation concludes. However, they made no announcements as to when they will return these manhole covers. They then apologized to everyone who wanted to see the Love Live! Sunshine!!-themed covers.
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source: Shizuoka Shimbun