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Taxi heist lands American teens in Okinawan custody

Date Posted: 2008-03-22

Two American boys who robbed an Okinawa City taxi driver are being held by local police on suspicion of theft.
An Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman says the two teens who ripped off a taxi driver in Okinawa City’s Minami Tobaru district late last weekend are, in fact, dependent sons of American service personnel. The theft occurred not too far from Kadena Air Base Gate 5. The pair stole ¥5,400 from the taxi as they were getting out.
One boy, a 16-year-old, is said to be the son of an Air Force serviceman stationed at Kadena. The other, a 15-year-old, is the high school dropout son of a Marine. The 16-year-old was apprehended shortly after the theft. Local police, with assistance of U.S. military police, picked up the second youth late Tuesday night.
Both boys’ families live off base, according to police.
The incident happened less than 24 hours after another taxi robbery in the vicinity of Kadena Air Base. That taxi driver said three foreigners who spoke English stole ¥8,000 from him after assaulting him. One attacker was said to be African-American, while the other two had Asian features. Police refused to speculate if the two taxi robberies were linked.

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