$2,000 reward offered for information in Okinawa cab robbery
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Naval Criminal Investigative Service is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of two men involved in the July 4 robbery of a cab driver in Okinawa City.
“The Okinawa City police reached out to us because the suspects are believed to be Americans,” said Kevin Naylon, the Okinawa NCIS resident agent. “The suspects were non-Japanese and spoke English.”
The crime occurred about 4:15 a.m. on a side street near the Japanese Immigration Office in Okinawa City, Naylon said. The two suspects hailed the cab near the Manila Bay Bar on Gate Two Street and directed the cab driver to the darkened side street.
Once there, the man in the front seat grabbed the 64-year-old driver around the neck in a choke hold and took a wallet containing about 32,000 yen ($276) and $230 in cash, according to an Okinawa police report. The driver was unharmed.
According to the police report, the pair left the area on foot.
Both suspects were described as dark-skinned males. The man in the front passenger seat was slender, about 5-feet-9 and appeared to be about 25. He wore a light-colored do-rag or bandanna on his head and was dressed in a dark short-sleeve shirt and dark pants.
The man in the back seat appeared to be between 25 and 30 years old and was overweight. He was about 5-feet-11, had a shaved head and wore a light-colored T-shirt and shorts.
“We believe they were Americans because they were observed speaking in English with two other people outside the bar just prior to catching the cab,” Naylon said.
“We have no idea whether they are in any way connected with any service,” he added. “But anytime the local police call on us for assistance we’re going to help them in any way we can.”
It’s the second time this year NCIS has offered a reward for information concerning an incident involving robbing a cab driver. A $2,000 reward was paid to an informant who helped bring about the arrest and conviction in a Japanese court of two Marines who robbed a 62-year-old cabbie on Camp Foster in January.
The Marines were sentenced to 2½ to 3 years in a Japanese prison at hard labor.
An Okinawa police spokesman said the investigation of the July 4 robbery has grown cold.
“As of today, we have no particular information leading to identify the suspects,” he said. “We appreciate the active cooperation offered by the military.”
Anyone with information concerning the robbery should contact the NCIS office on Camp Foster at DSN 645-0207.
Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.