Photo/IllutrationPolice officers monitor traffic in Tokyo’s Chiyoda Ward in April. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

SAITAMA--A quick-thinking motorist here who called in a false report as an excuse for talking on the phone while driving is now under arrest.

The 32-year-old man from Omiya Ward dialed the 110 emergency number on the afternoon of April 3, saying, "There's been a theft!"

Following his call, prefectural police mobilized a helicopter and seven cars, including emergency vehicles, in addition to scanning security camera footage, but found no indication of any theft.

The man was arrested on June 17 on suspicion of fraud and police obstruction.

Authorities asked the man the same day to come in for voluntary questioning to the police station, where he admitted to the charge.

As a result, he is also being investigated on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Law for using a phone while operating a motor vehicle.

Police said the man's smartphone records showed that he was talking to another person immediately before calling 110.