2 Kinser Marines held in shoplifting
December 14, 2003
CHATAN, Okinawa — Two Marines were in Okinawa police custody Friday for allegedly stealing about $190 worth of clothing from stores in the Mihama district of Chatan on Thursday night.
According to an Okinawa Prefectural Police spokesman, Pfc. Aaron B. Itsell, 21, and Pvt. Matthew E. Ferry, 20, both assigned to Camp Kinser, swiped 10 items off the shelves of two stores in the American Village shopping mall between 6:30 and 7:15 p.m. Thursday.
The two were suspected of shoplifting after a store clerk noticed a knitted cap one of the two Marines was examining had disappeared from the shelf, the spokesman said.
The owner of the two stores questioned the men inside his office, where they allowed him to search the contents of a shopping bag and a backpack.
Inside the bags, the owner found 20,000 yen worth of knitted caps and T-shirts they hadn’t paid for.
A police spokesman said the two Marines admitted to the theft.
On Friday, they were being held at the police station in Okinawa City pending action by the Naha District Prosecutor’s Office.
In an unrelated case, Marine Sgt. Andrew Gonzales, assigned to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, was arrested for trespassing Wednesday.
He was found asleep in the seat of an Okinawa City resident’s unlocked van at 6:35 a.m.
A police spokesman said the van was parked in a garage.
Gonzales was apprehended near the home by police who responded to the call.
A police spokesman said Gonzales, who appeared to be intoxicated, explained to the officers he’d been drinking with friends and crawled into the van to “sleep it off” after he became separated from them.
He was released from custody Thursday and is awaiting action by the Naha prosecutor’s office.
Often, such cases are handed over to the U.S. military for adjudication.