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Two teens injure woman during a purse snatching

Date Posted: 2005-11-24

Two Okinawa teenagers are in jail, charged with assault and attempted theft for trying to steal a purse from a woman leaving an office.

The plot failed, as the woman was injured during the theft attempt, giving police a chance to nail them. Officers say the two 17-year-olds are bad kids, both with prior police records. One had been arrested a year ago breaking a door at the Naha Police Station, while the second was busted six months ago for stealing motorcycles.

Police say they can link the teenagers to at least 72 purse snatching incidents across Okinawa, and also in Tokyo and Osaka. They say the pair also is responsible for thefts of more than 50 motorcycles. Officers believe there is a third member of the boys’ gang, and say that youth is the key culprit in the motorcycle thefts.

Officials believe the three Okinawa youngsters first met while serving time at a local detention center. Their modus operandi is to first steal a motorcycle, then use it to perform drive-by purse snatchings. Although two are behind bars, police are still urging vigilance by woman, encouraging them to keep a good grip on their purses.

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