[Police handout photo]
A police crackdown last week on a gang of pickpockets working in the Greek capital has led to 31 arrests so far and the resolution of 764 reported thefts, along with the seizure of 9,500 euros in cash, the Greek Police said in an official announcement on Monday.
The gang is believed to be behind an estimated 4,000 thefts of wallets, purses, cell phone, tablets and other valuables, mainly from tourists and commuters at key transport points like Monastiraki and the ISAP station serving the port at Piraeus. Investigators estimate the gang netted as much as 3,500 euros a day, brining the total value of its loot to hundreds of thousands of euros.
It’s typical method of operation, according to the announcement, was for three or four pickpockets posing as regular members of the public to surround and effectively trap a target so that one person could extract the coveted item and pass it on to another, who would then pass it onto a third who would leave the area before the theft was noticed.
Another 18 suspects are still at large.