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NAHA, Okinawa — A Camp Hansen Marine was in Okinawa police custody Thursday on suspicion of robbing a cab driver New Year’s Day, an Okinawa prefectural police spokesman said.

Police say Lance Cpl. Tony Alphonso Lewis Jr., 20, stole a cash box containing 15,700 yen, or about $133, at about 12:15 a.m. Monday in the Matsuo district of Naha.

The spokesman said Lewis grabbed the cash box from a parked cab while the driver talked to a fellow driver through an open window.

Lewis fled the scene but was identified about four hours later when the driver spotted the suspect and reported him to the police, the spokesman said.

Lewis was asked to come to Naha Police Station, where he was arrested at 4:35 a.m., police said.

Lewis has denied the accusation, Marine Corps spokesman 1st Lt. Garron J. Garn said Thursday.

Marine officials are taking the incident very seriously and are working with local authorities in the investigation, Garn said.

“It would be inappropriate to discuss the details of the ongoing investigation,” he said.

Police said the case was sent to the Naha District Public Prosecutor’s Office on Tuesday.

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