• Kyodo


A 20-year-old man was arrested Wednesday for allegedly abducting a 2-year-old girl from her home in Itoigawa, Niigata Prefecture, at knifepoint the previous night.

The girl was found unharmed in the man’s car after he was arrested, police said.

Investigators identified the suspect as Takeshi Kojima, who had dated the child’s teenage sister until March and then allegedly stalked her in a bid to win her back, only to draw a police warning in April.

Police had been planning to obtain an arrest warrant for him for suspected violation of the stalker law.

The elder sister, a high school student, received several calls on her mobile phone after the child was abducted although there was no ransom demand, police said.

A female member of the family alerted police at around 8:15 p.m., telling them that a young man had broken into their home shortly after 8 p.m, brandishing what appeared to be a kitchen knife.

She said he took the child away in a small car. The girl’s elder brother suffered a head injury when he struggled with Kojima, police said.

Niigata police set up checkpoints across the prefecture and alerted police in Toyama and Nagano prefectures to look for the man.

The car driven by Kojima was seen making a U-turn on the Hokuriku Expressway at around 2 a.m. and a cruiser gave chase, police said.

Kojima eventually drove to the Itoigawa Police Station and was apprehended when he went inside. The girl was found sitting in the rear seat of the car, wearing a seat belt.

While on the run, Kojima made several calls to the girl’s sister, saying he wanted to see her, according to police.

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