Underwear fugitive back behind bars in Japan
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Last Updated: Friday, January 13, 2012, 20:38
Tokyo: A man who fled prison in just his underwear in Japan's first jailbreak for more than 20 years was back behind bars today, police said.

The escape of Chinese national Li Guolin had led television news bulletins for much of Thursday in a country where crime is low but fear of criminals is widespread.

His recapture on Friday just two kilometres from the Hiroshima prison where he scaled a five-metre fence merited a news flash on national broadcasts.

Police said Li, 40, was captured on the street near an elementary school after being approached by an officer patrolling the area. He offered no resistance.

He fled Wednesday during exercise time at the prison, where he was in his fourth year of a 23-year prison term for attempted murder and theft.

In his two days of freedom Li is believed to have broken into a nearby house to steal clothes, drink beer and eat.

More than 500 police took part in the manhunt, with officers posted outside schools and worried residents telling reporters they would be locking their doors early.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said the government was sorry for the security lapse.

"We apologise for troubling the area's residents. We will thoroughly review the case to prevent a similar incident," he said.


First Published: Friday, January 13, 2012, 20:38

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