A gang suspected of burgling at least 72 homes in different parts of the Greek capital since last February has been broken up by the Greek police with the arrest of 15 suspects, the force said in an announcement on Tuesday.
According to investigators, the gang is believed to have made off with cash and valuables worth an estimated 1 million euros in the past year.
All 15 suspects were allegedly involved in the racket, which chose its targets from classified ads for the sale of homes or of household items.
The owners of the assets were contacted for an appointment with two members of the gang, usually posing as a couple expressing an interest in buying the property or the items advertised for sale.
The “buyers” would then keep the owner occupied, usually by taking him or her out onto the balcony on some pretext or other, while other members of the gang sneaked into the property and made off with any cash, jewelry, watches, electronics, keys to cars they went on to steal and any other valuables they could find before slipping away unnoticed.
Police said most of the victims were elderly.
The suspects were rounded up as they were allegedly planning another burglary. Raids in different parts of the city where they were staying turned up jewelry, gold coins, cash and other evidence of their activities, including two dozen mobile phones and several bank cards.