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Four Marines Arrested for Theft and Damage – Locals Protest

Date Posted: 2000-06-02

Four members of the Marine Corps have been arrested for breaking the windows of a clothing store in Chuo district, Okinawa City and stealing more than 100 baseball caps, T-shirts and cash.

They were spotted during the robbery by military investigators and followed when they caught a cab to Camp Hansen. At the gate they were arrested and taken to Okinawa police headquarters. They are now in custody at Camp Hansen awaiting charges.

Director of the Okinawa Prefectural Governor’s office, Seiichi Oyakawa and other local politicians delivered a letter of protest to the marines.

A statement released from Camp Butler’s public affairs section said that according to the SOFA agreement, the complaint should be forwarded to the Government of Japan. However, the camp’s Colonel David Rann said he would send the complaint to the American general commanding Japan’s marine bases.

Rann added that marines “are committed to preventing acts such as these from reoccurring by educating and raising the awareness of our marines. Our crime statistics have decreased substantially in the past two years and remain lower than our proportional representation on the island. We will not be satisfied until we reduce them further.”

The colonel also said “The Marine Corps strives every day to be good neighbors. Incidents such as this degrade that relationship.”

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