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OKINAWA CITY — A 30-year-old Marine was in Okinawa police custody Tuesday after he allegedly tried to rob a drugstore.

Okinawa police said the Marine is assigned to the 3rd Force Logistics Group on Camp Foster.

Marine officials said Tuesday they are cooperating with authorities during the investigation.

According to an Okinawa police spokesman, the suspect walked into a pharmacy in the Uechi entertainment district of the Okinawa City at 10:15 p.m. Monday. He allegedly confronted the 70-year-old pharmacist by holding his right hand inside the pocket of his hooded parka and gesturing that he had a gun. He allegedly demanded money in English.

But before the shop owner could react, the suspect fled without taking anything when he spotted a store employee in the rear of the shop calling police, the spokesman said. The owner of the drugstore followed and wrote down the license plate number of the car in which he made his getaway.

About 20 minutes later, police officers spotted the car in the neighborhood and took the Marine into custody, the spokesman said. No weapons were found in the car and the Marine has denied any involvement.

Under Japanese law, police can hold a suspect and question him for 48 hours before forwarding the case to a prosecutor, who can then question the suspect for an additional 21 days before seeking an indictment.

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