Greek police managed to bust a notorious pick-pocket ring that had plagued citizens and tourists in the Athens Metro and train stations.
Thirty-six people were arrested, 35 of them foreigners, against who criminal cases were filed on charged related to the formation of a criminal organisation, grand theft, possession of guns and violation of the drug law.
The case file includes 23 more foreigners. Police released the mug shots of a total of 59 defendants following a prosecutor’s order.
Police searched and confiscated homes and shops from mobile phones and tablets to small quantities of cannabis, knives and air pistols.
So far, 161 cases of theft in public transport have been investigated, while the investigations are ongoing.
The criminal gang operated in the form of subgroups, being structured into seven subgroups and the latter into four, the vast majority of whom were individuals of the same nationality, operating in an organised and “professional” manner.
The members would pick pocket steal money and valuable items from unsuspecting commuters on public transport, sharing the loot with each, while the current Covid-19 measures (masks) gave them a chance to conceal their faces.
In the morning or at noon, they would go to bus stops and stations, where in groups of three to seven people, would enter the docks, trains and buses and prey on passengers and tourists.
Their main targets would consist of elderly citizens and tourists. After stealing any valuable items, which included mobile phones, various documents or other goods they would drop them off in nearby rubbish bins before collecting the loot and selling it off to shops.
The majority of the members of the rings was from Romania.
During searches carried out in members’ hide out places and homes, police confiscated:
(94) mobile phones and (11) tablets,
(5,975) euros and (4) laptops,
(33) wallets and (14) watches,
(24) hats and (5) glasses,
(7) money transfer scraps,
small amount of cannabis,
knives and air pistols.