Suspect with ‘suspicious package’ caught at U.S. air base in Japan

Posted at 10:41 AM, Dec 26, 2015

A suspect got onto a U.S. air base in Japan on Saturday “with a suspicious package,” prompting a temporary lockdown and investigation, the base said.

Security forces from the 374th Airlift Wing “apprehended [the] suspect who gained unauthorized entry into at Yokota Air Base,” according to a post Saturday on the base’s Facebook page.

That person was not identified, nor did authorities say what was in the “suspicious package.”

Still, the fact the suspect is in custody was enough for officials to issue an all-clear and lift the shelter-in-place order at 8:50 p.m. (6:50 a.m. ET) Saturday.

“Security Forces personnel have since secured the scene and an investigation is ongoing,” the base said.

Gates had closed and people were ordered to stay put between when the suspect got onto the base around 5 p.m. and when the all-clear went out.

“Ensuring the safety and security of Team Yokota is always our top priority,” said Col. Douglas C. DeLaMater, commander of the 374th Airlift Wing, in a news release. “Our security forces’ professionalism and immediate response to this potential threat was outstanding.”

Yokota Air Base is about 35 miles northwest of central Tokyo.

It is home to U.S. Forces Japan, the Fifth Air Force and elements of the 374th Airlift Wing, according to its website.