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City official: U.S. Marine stole car before wrecking it in Gotemba

A U.S. Marine fled to Camp Fuji in Gotemba City after he allegedly crashed a car that he stole
A U.S. Marine fled to Camp Fuji in Gotemba City after he allegedly crashed a car that he stole

SHIZUOKA (TR) – A member of the U.S. Marine Corps is alleged to have stolen a vehicle before crashing it in Gotemba City last month, a government official said at press conference on Thursday, reports the Shizuoka Shimbun (Oct. 5).

At approximately 2 A.M. on September 17, the unidentified Marine allegedly trespassed onto the property of a residence and stole a vehicle. He then crashed the car into a fence of a different residence before abandoning it and fleeing the scene.

“In consideration of this alleged incident perpetrated by a U.S. Marine, there is a mission to publicize it to ensure the safety and security of citizens,” Wakabayashi is quoted by the paper. “In the future, I hope that the investigation underway by the police will reveal the whole picture.”

Wakabayashi confirmed that prior to the incident the suspect was walking alone from JR Gotemba Station to Camp Fuji, an installation of the U.S. Marine Corps, according to the Chunichi Shimbun (Oct. 6). The Marine then fled to the installation after he crashed the vehicle.

The Marine has not yet been arrested.

The owner of the car notified the city office of the theft. The Gotemba Police Station subsequently launched an investigation that determined the involvement of the Marine. “With the investigation ongoing, there are no details in the matter for release,” the police station told the Mainichi Shimbun (Oct. 6).

A separate reports by the Shizuoka Shimbun (Oct. 6) indicated the the U.S. Marine Corps is cooperating with the investigation. “We take all matters of wrongdoing seriously as Marines and their families are expected to adhere to a high-level of behavior,” a representative of the public relations department said in declining to comment further on the matter due to the ongoing investigation.