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Teen biker mistaken for fugitive killed in crash after police chase

OSAKA (Kyodo) -- A 17-year-old boy on a motorcycle crashed and died in the western Japan city of Osaka on Thursday night after being chased by police who were searching for a fugitive in a high-profile manhunt.

A patrol car began chasing the teen around 9:20 p.m. after police received a report of a sighting of a man resembling Junya Hida, 30, who escaped from a police station in mid-August following his arrest for a series of crimes including rape.

The high school student, who did not have a driver's license, ignored a police officer's order to stop and fled, driving the wrong way down a one-way road and running a red light before crashing into a roadside pole, according to the local police.

Hida has been put on a nationwide wanted list and thousands of officers have been mobilized to search for him.

Soon after Hida went missing from the police station in the suburbs of Osaka Prefecture on Aug. 12, a black minibike was stolen near his parental home in the prefecture, and police received reports of four women having their bags snatched by a man on a black minibike during the following three days.

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