Two more arrests made in robbery of Okinawa cabbie
Stars and Stripes April 7, 2008
OKINAWA CITY — Two teenage dependents of U.S. servicemembers were turned over to Okinawa police Saturday as suspects in the March 16 beating and robbery of an Okinawa cabbie.
The 19-year-olds — one an Army dependent and the other the son of an enlisted airman — are among five people suspected of being involved in stealing some 8,000 yen (about $80) from a 55-year-old taxi driver in a popular entertainment district near Kadena Air Base’s Gate Two.
According to a police report, the cabbie was struck from behind after he stopped for a group of young men who asked him to open his trunk.
He was knocked to the ground and then fled from his attackers, who allegedly stole a cash box from his cab.
The incident took place about 12:20 a.m. About 22 hours later, two youths allegedly stole 5,400 yen (about $54) from another cabbie in Okinawa City. The 16-year-old son of an airman was apprehended by police nearby.
The investigation into the second incident led to a 15-year-old Marine dependent and Saturday’s arrests of the 19-year-olds. All four are suspects in the first robbery.
Okinawa police forwarded recommendations for charging the younger teens with theft and robbery involving an injury to the Naha Public Prosecutors office Saturday.
A police spokesman said all four suspects — who were not named because they are minors under Japanese law — admitted their involvement in the crimes.
They are being held separately at prefectural police stations.
In addition, Okinawa and military police continue to question a 21-year-old airman who is suspected of participating in the first incident.
Stars and Stripes reporter Chiyomi Sumida contributed to this report.