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Manhunt underway after man convicted of attempted blackmail flees custody

TOKYO (TR) – A manhunt is underway after a 45-year-old man convicted of attempted blackmail fled custody in Tachikawa City on Tuesday, authorities said, reports TBS News (Oct. 1).

According to the Tokyo High Public Prosecutor’s Office, Shin Takahashi failed to return to the Tachikawa Detention House from a visit to a hospital for treatment between 8:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

The office confirmed that Takahashi never made it to the hospital for treatment. As well, two guarantors who escorted Takahashi to the hospital have dropped out of contact, the office said.

Shin Takahashi (Twitter)

“The fact that he fled is extremely regrettable,” said Hiroshi Takai, the chief of the general affairs branch of the office, at a press conference on Tuesday. “We will do our utmost to regain custody of him.”

In August, the Tachikawa branch of the Tokyo District Court handed Takahashi an 18-month prison term for attempted blackmail. He is currently appealing that ruling.