Within just 24 hours, a student aged 15 was kidnapped and a student aged 25 killed a man trying to rob his house. Both cases are more than indicative of the crime rate in Greece in recent months.
Statistics show that one larceny and eleven burglaries and house break-ins are carried out every hour in Greece. A murder is reported every two days. The rise in crime has increased the sense of fear and insecurity in people, many of whom are convinced that taking matters into their own hand has remained the only solution.
Despite the black statistics, however, the kidnapping case of a student from Halkida, aged 15, was successfully completed. The kidnappers released him shortly after 10 o'clock last night, 12 hours after kidnapping him.
According to police, the boy left his house shortly after 8 am and went to his school. Shortly before getting there, several men pulled the boy into a white van. Residents of the area claimed to have heard him shouting, "help" but none of them managed to arrive in time.
Sources said the kidnappers had called the home of their victim four times, requesting a ransom of 3 million euro in the first call. According to unconfirmed information, they asked the father of the kidnapped boy, who is the manager of a bank branch in Halkida, to give them the codes of bank accounts.
So far, the police information available is scarce because the kidnappers are still missing. Police sources said that in the fourth call, they had understood that the police were very close to discovering them and therefore, they released their victim. According to the same information, the police detected a mobile phone signal and a prosecutor's order has been issued for finding it. Authorities believe the kidnappers will be revealed after this move.
Meanwhile, a student from the Athens suburb of Peania, aged 24, who had shot a man of Albanian origin, aged 43, in his attempt to rob his house, appeared before the prosecutor.
According to the official police statement, it all started at 2:50 am on Thursday, when two men with covered faces tried to break into a house. Its inhabitants, however, noticed them, lit the outside lights and began shouting, thus making the attackers to flee.
Ten minutes later, they tried to break into another house, close to the first one. In this case, the neighbours noticed them too and forced them to leave after a brief struggle.
The police notice states that the emergency phone line received a call at 3:05 am. Five patrol cars with the relevant teams left for the scene immediately. Police officers carried out a check, which lasted over half an hour but did find the attackers.
At 03:50 am, shortly after the police had left, the two men tried to break into the third house, near the previous two. Its owner and the neighbours noticed them again and began to pursue them. "As a result, a young man aged 24, whose house the attackers had tried to break into earlier, shot to death one of the men with a hunting rifle (the Albanian citizen aged 43)."
The second attacker, also from Albania and aged 52, surrendered to police.
Today, about two hundred residents of Peania were waiting for the young man to be taken to court and greeted him with applause and shouts of "innocent".
Mayor Yiannis Davaris said yesterday that all residents and the municipality would stand by the student. He noted that the student had seen the attackers threatening his mother with a knife, forcing her to deactivate the alarm system of the house. According to the mayor, they had broken into the house of the young man twice within a short period of time.
His defender even said that his client had not intended to kill the attacker, "but only to reach and catch him." He described the incident as follows: "The house of the family of my client is on two levels. The mother was sleeping on the ground floor, and the father and two sons - on the upper floor. The noise of the alarm system awoke the young man. When he went down, he saw one of the two attackers, whose faces were hidden by masks, threaten his mother pointing a knife at her neck. The other one was holding a crowbar. He heard them telling his mother to give them money and jewellery. In the end, they grabbed a bag and fled."
According to the defender, the young man remembered the clothing of the attackers and together with other neighbours began searching for them while the police were carrying out their check. "Fifteen minutes later, the young man heard a gunshot from another neighbour who fired into the air to scare the attackers, screaming for help at the same time. He thought that the attackers had shot someone and when he saw them, he began chasing them. "
As for the shooting, he said, "He was holding a hunting rifle and his finger was 0n the trigger. While he was running, the gun went off and the attacker, aged 45 was shot."
A little earlier, it became clear that the young man was charged with murder in a state of high mental stress.