A 29-year-old was arrested by the police in connection with the robbery on the island of Paros, when 53-year-old taxi driver Dimitris Mihas was killed. As reported by the police, after the examination in the laboratory for DNA analysis at the Department for criminal investigations, it was found that genetic material taken from the perpetrators from objects found at the crime scene, matches the genetic material of the 29-year-old detainee. He was arrested on Saturday at noon in the Athens neighbourhood "Monastiraki".
At the same time the gang which performed the bloody robbery at a branch of Alpha Bank on Paros Island ten days ago, seems ready to make an attack on another island as well. The perpetrators have apparently escaped from the police blockade and have been planning undisturbed their next attack, probably on another island in the Aegean Sea.
This summer, gangs of thieves have abandoned the cities which are already neither empty nor not patrolled, as some time ago, and are preparing robberies on the islands, where security measures by banks are almost non-existent, unlike the large urban centres. The danger during a robbery for residents or tourists to get hurt is great, but the case on the island of Paros showed that robbers do not face such dilemmas.
Information about the robberies
In 2010, about 300 bank robberies were carried out, 164 of which in the territory of Attica. Since then, after the security measures taken by banks in the capital city, each year there are approximately 60 to 80 bank robberies, of which almost half (30-40) are in Athens. At first, after taking additional security measures by the banks and the appointment of motorized police, the thieves began to withdraw from the capital and to rob banks in the neighbouring areas - Boeotia, Corinthia, Evia and others. "When motorized police began patrolling there too, the robbers took the next step", say police officials.
300 bank branches - a potential target
In the coming months the Greek police are expecting robberies in one of the nearly 300 bank branches on the islands, on most of which security measures are minimal, and moreover there is no permanent police force. As an experienced police officer said: "they are applying new tricks in order not to be caught on the islands." Originally, they used motorboats, as happened during the robberies of the islands of Alonissos and Spetses, in order to reach the opposite shore, where it is easy to escape. In the bloody robbery on Paros Island this month, however, they used a new method, say the police. “First we thought they had intended to use a motorboat. Then we realized that their plan might have been more complicated. It is very likely that they have come to the island at different times as ordinary tourists, lost in the crowd of 70,0000 holidaymakers on the island, among the nearly 1,500 places for camping and the 3,000 people who arrive and leave the island daily." This was not the only "surprise" for the police. According to one of them, “at first we thought the murder of the taxi driver had changed their plans radically. But perhaps this is a completely wrong conclusion. For the perpetrators, the murder in the tourist town of Naoussa on Paros Island was a small deviation from their plan, and eventually they adhered strictly to what they had planned for the arrival to and the departure from the island at different times with different companies”. "If things have really happened this way", continues the same policeman, "and we hadn’t caught them, they would have had every chance to implement the same plan elsewhere, too."
A small island, big loot
Bank robberies on the islands have a relatively short history. In August 2010 the first robbery at a branch of the National Bank of Greece on the island of Alonissos was made, where three offenders stole nearly 500,000 euro. However, they are making blunders, especially when making calls on their phones. Thus, for that robbery 38-year-old Dimitris Baltas was arrested, who was also charged with the bloody robbery in June 1995 in the General Hospital of Nicea and the murder of 39-year-old cashier Dimitris Mandouvalos. Baltas was in prison, but the young driver of the boat, by which they escaped, has not been captured yet.
The next robbery was committed on the island of Lefkada a year later. The target this time was an ATM of the Agricultural Bank in a central street in the village of Nidri. The loot amounted to 66,000 euro. In connection with this case a senior officer who serves on the island was originally charged. Eventually, three months ago, the "Security" Directorate of Attica region broke up a 12-strong gang of Greeks, which has become known as "the thieves with hammers" (because they first broke by hammers the glass entrances, they intended to rob, and then rushed in, armed with guns and other weapons, and swiped everything). Among the attacks committed by them, which are over 20 in number, is also the robbery in Nidri.
The Greek police: The thieves of Spetses might have passed through Paros as well
The last robbery on an island, before that on Paros, was committed on the island of Spetses on 17 July this year, in a branch of Alpha Bank again, and the loot amounted to nearly 500,000 euro. Representatives of the Greek police believe that the "likely perpetrators of both robberies are the same. This is evident from the analysis of the video material we have, although we are trying to explain some differences. "On the island of Spetses four perpetrators, including a woman, dressed as tourists and armed with pistols and automatic rifles "Kalashnikov", after stealing the money, used as a shield two female bank employees.