Stealthy thieves broke into a Japanese ninja museum and stole a million yen

A general photo shows Japanese yen.

(CNN)A ninja museum in central Japan had some stealthy visitors this week -- thieves who broke in and stole more than a million yen ($9,470) in the middle of the night.

The Iga-ryu Ninja Museum, located in Iga city in Mie Prefecture, is dedicated to the history and practices of ninja. It notified police after an alarm went off in the early hours of Monday morning.
At the time, there were no staff at the museum, which is a popular tourist site. When the police arrived, they found the museum entrance had been forced open, and the safe containing the money was missing.
    The safe, which weighed about 150 kilograms (330 pounds), held admission fees from more than 1,000 visitors, according to the museum.
    "It was a three-minute job," said an official at the museum, who requested anonymity for privacy reasons. "It was planned, they must have scoped us out and singled us out."
    The Iga-ryu Jinja Museum offers demonstrations and ninja shows, pictured here in June 2012.
    Part of the museum's appeal is that it's tucked inside a forest -- but this also makes it a better target for thieves, as it's largely hidden from view once night falls.
    The museum's security cameras showed a car pulling up to the building on the night of the robbery, and a man climbing out of the passenger seat. He walked toward the camera, and tilted it down so it only filmed the ground for the rest of the night.
    The official added that the heist had occurred just as visitors were beginning to return to the museum over the summer holidays.
    "There's a second wave of the (coronavirus) now, but people were just getting more comfortable with all the corona precautions we were taking. This is really terrible," he said.