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Theft suspect escapes police in Niigata.

NIIGATA, Japan, Dec. 20 Kyodo

A man under detention who claims to be a Chinese national was found missing Thursday morning from a police cell in the city of Niigata on the Sea of Japan coast, police said.

The police described Weng Zhangguo, 26, as having close-cropped hair and wearing a black-gray sweatshirt and pants and brown sandals. He weighs about 48 kilograms and is 161 centimeters tall, they added.

Weng is on trial at the Niigata District Court charged with breaking into a condominium in Niigata in August and stealing cash, the police said.

Weng is believed to have escaped through an emergency exit in the facility where he was being held. His cell, in which he was alone, was found open and the exit door was unlocked, the police said.

A guard making a routine inspection of the cells discovered Weng missing at around 7:15 a.m., the police said.
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Publication:Japan Weekly Monitor
Date:Dec 24, 2001
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