Tokyo, Japan: A thief who fled an open jail in Japan sparking a high-profile manhunt involving some 15,000 officers was taken into custody on Monday, police mentioned, greater than three weeks after his escape.
Tatsuma Hirao, 27, a “mannequin” inmate who was serving time for a number of thefts, was arrested on a road close to Hiroshima railway station in western Japan, an area police spokesman advised AFP.
He was captured some 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Mukaishima island, the place police had deployed helicopters, drones, police canine and infrared detectors to search out him.
Hirao advised investigators that he escaped from the island by swimming throughout the ocean, in keeping with public broadcaster NHK.
Tv footage confirmed Hirao, who was unshaven and carrying a black shirt, taken by a number of cops to a police automobile.
The case has made headline information in Japan with TV channels choosing over the manhunt in minute element.
Hirao gave guards the slip on April eight, vanishing from the power, an “open establishment” the place inmates can stroll round freely.
Police detected the fugitive’s fingerprints and a number of other thefts have been reported since his escape.
The stolen gadgets embrace socks, a cell phone, a pockets, a pair of sandals and a automotive key, whose proprietor discovered a well mannered observe — apparently from the fugitive — saying: “I am borrowing your automotive however I will by no means injury it.”
Justice Minister Yoko Kawakami made a uncommon apology for the difficulties in recapturing the prison.
“I deeply apologise to native residents and many individuals for troubling and worrying them for such a very long time,” Kawakami mentioned in an announcement, including that her ministry will take preventive measures.
A complete of 20 inmates have escaped because the jail opened in 1961.