GINOWAN, Okinawa — Police honored two Marines on Wednesday for helping a Ginowan police officer apprehend three minors suspected of stealing the license plates from a parked car and putting them on the car they were driving.

Sgt. Scott Chandler and Lance Cpl. Polin Hem, of Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 36, were headed back to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in the late hours of Sept. 27, when they saw the officer chasing the minors.

The Marines joined the chase, helping nab three of five Japanese youths who fled the scene after the officer pulled over the suspicious vehicle, said Akira Motomura, a Ginowan police inspector.

Police Chief Kiyomasa Yasumura presented letters of appreciation to Chandler and Hem during a ceremony at Ginowan Police Station.

"They saved us a lot of time in investigating the case, as the suspects were arrested straight away," Motomura said. "The Marines ran faster than the police officer."

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