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American teens turned over to Japanese as taxi robbery suspects

Date Posted: 2008-04-06

Two teenage American dependents were arrested by Japanese police in connection with a violent taxi robbery, after U.S. authorities handed the pair over.
Police Saturday arrested two 19-year-old dependents who had been under investigation over the past several weeks. A 21-year-old active duty Air Force policeman is also being investigated, and authorities say they expect to seek an arrest warrant for him soon.
The 15-year-old son of a Marine and the 16-year-old son of an airman, already under arrest in connection with another robbery case, have admitted to the taxi robbery charges. Their latest arrest on Friday stems from a March 16th incident in which they hailed a taxi, then hit the taxi driver and stole 8,000. The 55-year-old taxi driver suffered minor injuries in the attack.
An earlier arrest this week was on charges of stealing 5,400 from another taxi cash box as they were getting out of the cab. That incident took place 22 hours earlier on March 16th, Police say one of the 19-year-old boys, plus the 15 and 16-year-old boys, actually committed the assault on the taxi driver in Okinawa City. They say the other teen and the airman were not at the crime scene, but were involved in aiding the other three.
U.S. military authorities have been actively assisting Okinawa Prefectural Police in their investigations. The suspects had been held by American military officials, as specified under the U.S.-Japan Status of Forces Agreement. The agreement stipulates U.S. authorities may hold personnel until Japanese authorities issue an indictment.

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