In Japan, Lack of Security Allows Man to Steal Baby from Hospital

A man walked into a hospital room in northern Japan early Friday morning and kidnapped a 10-day-old infant from his mother's side, police said.

The man - wearing red-framed glasses, a black leather jacket, white pants and a white mask - entered the third-floor room at Hikarigaoka Spellman Hospital in Sendai city and distracted the woman by claiming there was a fire, state police spokesman Toshinori Kitaki said.

The man then snatched the baby and fled through an emergency exit, Kitaki said.

The mother was unhurt in the pre-dawn break-in, he said.

The hospital has no security cameras and no security guards are on duty on weekdays, hospital spokeswoman Midori Sato said.

The mother, Yumi Yamada, 23, told police that she did not know the man, Kyodo News agency said, adding she and the baby were scheduled to leave the hospital in a few days.

Sendai is 300 kilometers (190 miles) northeast of Tokyo.

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