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GI, teen cohorts rip off shoe store before crashing car

Date Posted: 2006-06-10

An American GI together with two US dependents at Kadena Air Base have been busted for stealing shoes, fleeing police, and crashing their car.

Okinawa City Police say the Monday evening incident only blocks from Kadena’s Gate 2 resulted in damage to a half-dozen cars, but few injuries. It began with a shoplifting gambit at a shoe store, where they stole four pair of sports shoes worth ¥18,000. They were spotted by an employee, but fled before he could stop them. The employee passed the license number on the car to police, who began an area search.

Ten minutes later police found the car, crashed into the rear of a car stopped at a red light on Highway 58 in Chatan. That crash, which wound up as a five-car mess, injured a 43-year-old woman and a 47-year-old man. Police say both suffered neck injuries.

The three suspects—an 18-year-old service member stationed at Kadena and the 17-year-old son and 16-year-old daughter of another GI—were found about 800 meters from the shoe shop. The GI, who was driving without a license, denied stealing the shoes, but the two dependents admitted it. The trio got into the accident only 30 meters from the Kadena gate, where police say they were trying to escape.

The pileup snarled traffic for nearly two hours before police were able to clear the wreckage away.

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