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Fugitive rape suspect apparently peeled adhesive off partition to escape from custody

A security camera image shows a man riding a black motorcycle near where a bag-snatching incident occurred on Aug. 13, 2018, the day after Junya Hida escaped from Tondabayashi Police Station. (Photo courtesy of a local resident)

OSAKA -- A rape suspect who fled from a police station in Osaka Prefecture after meeting with his attorney apparently peeled off the adhesive that held an acrylic partition in place, enabling him to force it open and escape, investigative sources said.

Investigators said there were signs that the adhesive resin of the partition in the visitation room at Tondabayashi Police Station in Tondabayashi, Osaka Prefecture, had been peeled off to make it easier to force the partition from its frame.

Junya Hida, 30, is on a nationwide wanted list on suspicion of aggravated escape from custody.

The partition is about 1 centimeter thick and was fixed to a metal frame with adhesive resin. There are no records at the police station of the partition having been replaced or repaired since the station was built about 30 years ago.

After Hida was found to have fled, police officers discovered that the acrylic partition had been separated from its metal frame, leaving a gap of up to around 10 centimeters. The prints of sandals worn by Hida were found on the acrylic partition.

In a related development, it has surfaced that Hida allegedly left a mobile phone, which was in a bag he apparently snatched after fleeing the police station, on a truck parked in Tondabayashi. Investigators suspect that he deliberately hid the mobile phone to throw off investigators.

The Mainichi Shimbun has obtained a security camera image showing a man who may be Hida riding a black motorcycle in the prefectural city of Habikino on the night of Aug. 13. Near the scene, a man riding a black motorcycle snatched a bag from a woman the same night.

Prefectural police suspect that the man in the image may be Hida.

(Japanese original by Takuya Murata, Haruka Ito and Akihiko Tsuchida, Osaka City News Department)

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