NEWS

Francophile car theft gang caught in Athens

Police in western Athens have arrested three people and are seeking another five suspected of participation in a car theft gang that focused on French models. A police announcement yesterday said the gang, which disassembled the cars and sold their parts at a spares shop operated by a gang member in Ilion, western Athens, stole at least 100 vehicles, all recent Citroen and Peugeot models, over the past year from the greater Athens area. Police arrested Antonis Machairas, 37, Grigoris Raikos, 22, and Giorgos Angelidis, 19, and have identified their five alleged accomplices who have so far evaded arrest. The gang had found a way of deactivating the cars’ immobilizer systems, after which they used skeleton keys to start the engines. Five of the suspects stole cars, while the other three took them apart in an Ilion warehouse owned by Machairas – who then sold the parts in his shop.