Dancing thieves emptied banks

A gang of Central Americans stole hundreds of thousands of euros from banks in Athens and Larissa while their accomplices distracted clerks with dances and other tricks, police said yesterday, announcing two arrests. Mexican Juan Sanchez, 45, and Costa Rican Roberto Verduzco, 35, were arrested on Thursday and charged yesterday with taking 230,000 euros from 10 banks over the past 14 months. Their largest single haul was 100,000 euros, from a Eurobank branch in Larissa. Police believe the suspects belonged to an international gang that netted at least half a million euros from banks in Athens and the provinces. The thieves allegedly distracted employees – on at least one occasion by staging an impromptu dance display – while their associates somehow managed to take wads of cash from the tills. Sanchez and Rodriguez were caught after a hit on a Kallithea bank when a passer-by tailed them in his car and called the police. Officers are seeking a third suspect, Costa Rican Alfonso Octavio.

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