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Love-struck thief does crime to see girlfriend

Date Posted: 2010-12-09

A 25-year-old Urasoe City fireman’s quest for love led him to steal, and then led 1,200 Okinawa cops on a 29-hour ordeal to catch him, let him escape from a police car, and then re-capture him.

Syota Isa of Iso in Urasoe City was first apprehended on the grounds of a Kadena Town residence, where he was charged with theft for stealing a light truck. Taken to the Urasoe Police Station for questioning, Isa confessed he’d stolen the vehicle because “I wanted to see my girlfriend, and I wanted to hear her voice.” When he was captured he’d been inside the residence, laying on his back on the wood floor. He didn’t resist as he told police “I’m hungry, please give me water,” telling them too that “I have pain in my foot.”

Minutes later, after being arraigned in Naha District Court, Isa decided he didn’t like being in custody, and escaped from a police car and two police officers, the first of two breakouts. He stole a motorcycle and evaded police for 29 hours, leading Hirokazu Oyakawa, the head of Urasoe Police, to apologize to the public for “making Okinawans worry. We’re making an all-out effort to prevent recurrences for such things.” A total of 1,200 police, including members of the Okinawa Prefectural Police, cris-crossed Urasoe City, Kadena, Ojana district of Ginowan City and Naha City before he ultimately was recaptured.

Police are still puzzled as to how Isa managed to get out of handcuffs and the rope that linked the handcuffs to his waist, in order to escape. Urasoe Police are still studying that element of Isa’s great escape. Police now have the young fireman firmly behind bars.

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