Teens caught shoplifting prompts base warnings
Stars and Stripes May 4, 2008
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — Shoplifting isn’t a prank — it’s a crime that could get you barred from all U.S. military bases in Japan.
While no decision has been made, four Yokosuka teenagers face debarment after allegedly shoplifting at Yokota Air Base, Yokosuka’s commanding officer Capt. Daniel Weed and base attorney Lt. Jonathan Flynn told town meeting audiences last week.
The teens were caught after traveling to Yokota for an extracurricular event, the officers said.
While staying away from the specifics — the investigation is ongoing — Flynn told Negishi and Yokosuka audiences that bases are “serious about shoplifting” due to reported increases in stolen merchandise.
Moreover, U.S. Forces Japan said that when someone is barred from one base, they are barred from all bases in Japan unless a base commander makes an exception, Flynn said.
“Decisions that you make anywhere in Japan can follow you around anywhere,” Flynn said.
Capt. Chris Watt, a 374th Airlift Wing spokesman at Yokota, said a decision in the teens’ case might take a few weeks.
The base can also take less harsh measures, such as limiting someone for a specific period from a specific base facility, he said. In the meantime, Weed warned parents to “keep an eye on your kids.”
“Every inch of the exchange has cameras and the tapes are rolling” Weed said.