Police: Man arrested after breaking into store says he was practicing ninja skills

DUNWOODY, Ga. (AP) - A 25-year-old man arrested on a burglary charge told investigators the popular graphic novel "Naruto" was teaching him how to be a ninja and enter secured areas, police in an Atlanta suburb said Monday.

Christopher Zahyeer Atkins of Altamonte Springs, Florida, is not accused of taking anything - only of breaking into a Target store about 1 a.m. Monday, Dunwoody Police Officer Anwar Sillah said.

"The arrest report says he used force to lift the rear door," Sillah said.

He said the alarm company reported that video showed a man trying to break into the store, and gave police a description of him. He said a man matching that description was found about a block away.

"Officers made contact and began to interview him. He said he was reading a book, Naruto, and in the book it was teaching him to be a ninja and enter secured areas," Sillah said in a telephone interview.

Naruto is a 72-volume manga series written and illustrated by Masashi Kishimoto about a blond preteen, then teenage ninja.

Sillah said Atkins was charged with first-degree burglary but had not yet been to a bond hearing.

He didn't know whether Atkins has an attorney who could speak for him.

He said Atkins was carrying a bookbag that held books, DVDs, a tablet and other items, but none of them was new.