Two accused in auto-parts theft face new charges
Stars and Stripes May 13, 2004
A Japanese prosecutor added another indictment Tuesday to theft charges leveled against two servicemembers at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station.
The pair pleaded guilty to the previous charges during their first court appearance in March.
The combined indictments charge six counts of theft totaling an estimated $11,510 in stolen auto parts.
Cpl. Todd M. Heaney, 25, of Marine Aircraft Logistics Squadron 12, and Petty Officer 3rd Class Charles Ian Bucton, attached to Marine Wing Support Squadron 171, pleaded guilty on March 30 in Yamaguchi District Court to stealing automotive parts from local businesses in September.
The indictment read in court Tuesday charges the two with stealing a rear car seat worth about $450 from a vehicle parked in an Iwakuni City business lot between July 1 and July 19.
The new charges also include the theft of a driver’s seat and another unnamed auto part, collectively valued at about $1,580, from a car in another business’s parking lot. Prosecutors also charged the duo with stealing an intercooler and seven other auto parts worth about $2,420 a few days later in the same location.
The first indictment, filed Jan. 30, charges Heaney and Bucton with stealing about $4,700 in car parts from a local dealership on Sept. 28. Iwakuni police arrested Heaney on Jan. 11, and then jailed Bucton shortly after the formal indictment.
Once in custody, Heaney and Bucton faced additional charges of stealing a car bumper and four other items valued at about $2,300 from two cars at an Iwakuni repair shop between Sept. 2 and Sept. 21, and a $60 engine cover from another car dealer about Sept. 30.
Tsutomu Hori, Heaney’s attorney, said Tuesday evening that the pair compensated the victims of the series of thefts.
The Yamaguchi Prefecture Public Prosecutor’s Office will recommend sentences at the next trial session, set for May 25.