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Police boxes targets for burglars, vandals

Date Posted: 2004-01-29

Okinawa’s famed police boxes, small police stations where people can meet a police officer whenever a need arises, are increasingly becoming targets for burglars and. An Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman said there were 13 burglaries into police boxes last year. In most cases, damages were limited to broken windows. The number has doubled over the past three years, prompting the Prefectural Police to consider installing security cameras or other devices at police boxes.

Most burglaries took place in Naha City, where the police box on Kokusai Street was the target three times. The station at Kitamae was hit twice. Police boxes in Mihama, Tomishiro and Takara have also been targets. All burglaries happened between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. when they were unmanned.

Police think that in most cases culprits are young boys seeking thrills. “We thought to get some excitement and figured that breaking into a police box would just do the trick,” one juvenile told investigators when apprehended. Another said that he had a grudge against the police. “Because of them my friend went to prison, so I took a revenge.”

In another case, there was an adult who took his frustrations out on police. “I had trouble at work, and I don’t like police, so I broke their window out of spite,” the man told officers afterwards. He also got a second rap because was drunk and drove his car to the crime scene.

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