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Youngster recovers errant cop’s misplaced handcuffs

Date Posted: 2010-08-19

A good Samaritan youngster riding his motorbike in Naha City’s Tomari area found a pair of handcuffs on the street earlier this month, and then ultimately paid a trip to the nearest police station to turn them in.

The handcuffs he handed over to police had ‘Oki’ written in kanji, along with numbers that he later learned indicated Okinawa. The question was: were they real handcuffs? Having found them between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., he thought they might be fake, but after talking to his friends who said “It might be real police property, you have to return it”, he pondered the matter for three days before heading for the police station.

“We don’t know if it’s police property or not,” a Naha City Police officer told the boy, but it turns out that wasn’t quite the case. The handcuffs were real, and were assigned to a police officer who’d lost them. A worker at a convenience store near the spot where the boy found the handcuffs told the public and media this week that police had been conducting a frantic search around the area August 6th, telling store staff the many police officers were on hand because “we came to check something.” The storekeeper says police cars gathered and parked for more than an hour as police searched everywhere, including in the trash cans and along the street.

Okinawa Prefecture Police cleared it all up with the announcement that a policeman had, in fact, lost his handcuffs. Police officers are issued the handcuffs when they first come on the force, and keep them until they retire. Prefecture Police said any reports of lost handcuffs are circulated nationwide to law enforcement officials.

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