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Former World Championships Marathoner Hara Arrested Again for Shoplifting Candy

Convicted of shoplifting from a convenience store in her hometown of Ashikaga, Tochigi, former World Championships marathoner and current restaurant employee Yumiko Hara, 36, has been arrested again on suspicion of shoplifting in Gunma following her previous conviction. The Maebashi District Prosecutor's Office Ota Branch has charged Hara with theft.

The charges were brought on Mar. 2. According to the indictment, on Feb. 9 at about 8:45 p.m. Hara stole a bag of candy and two other items with a total value of 382 yen (~$3.60 USD) from a supermarket in Ota, Gunma. The Gunma Prefectural Police Department said that Hara was stopped by supermarket staff and then arrested by Ota officers on the current charges. Hara denied the charges, saying, "I meant to return the items before leaving the store."

In November Hara was sentenced to one year imprisonment with a three-year suspension before implementation of the sentence for shoplifting makeup and food from a convenience store in her hometown of Ashikaga, Tochigi. At her trial Hara said, "I want to get totally rehabilitated and remember what has happened to me here every day so that nothing like this ever happens again."

Hara won the 2005 Nagoya International Women's Marathon, the 2007 Osaka International Women's Marathon and the 2010 Hokkaido Marathon. She placed 6th at the 2005 Helsinki World Championships and represented Japan at the 2007 Osaka World Championships.

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