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Military nabs two in taxi robbery; woman confesses in another case

Date Posted: 2006-02-04

Military investigators busted two GI’s this week in the case of an on-base taxi robbery at Camp Foster.
Okinawa Prefectural Police were notified of the action by Marine Corps Base military police and the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, in connection with a January 7th late night robbery. A 61-year-old taxi driver responding to a pick up call at a barracks, was held at knifepoint and robbed of about Y5,000 and $5.

Okinawa authorities and the U.S. military had been conducting separate investigations in the case, which even included the NCIS offering a $2,000 reward for information.

The military public affairs office said law enforcement officers had “worked aggressively” on the case, studying hours of surveillance videotapes and interviewing more than 350 people. The suspects’ names and units are being withheld until further investigation is complete, and information is shared with Okinawa authorities.

Chatan’s Mayor, Masaharu Nogumi, was pleased with the arrests. “It took time to pick up these two guys,” he said, “but it makes the taxi drivers comfortable now.” Nogumi is pushing for the U.S. authorities to turn the suspects over to Okinawa for prosecution.

Meanwhile, a woman Marine has turned herself in to authorities at Camp Foster and admitted to stealing money from another taxi driver on the base. The 20-year-old was a key suspect in an incident where five women took a taxi on the base nearly two weeks ago, then took the driver’s wallet from the front seat after they arrived at a base club.

Ginowan Police will join U.S. Marine military police in investigating further this week.

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