Police smash ring behind hundreds of city pickpocket thefts

Police said on Wednesday that they had smashed a huge pickpocketing racket, with more than 100 members, which is believed to have targeted pedestrians in central Athens and other cities for years.

Officers said they arrested 13 suspected members of the ring on Monday and had identified dozens of others.

The gang is believed to have carried out more than 355 muggings and 28 robberies since early 2010, according to police who said it chiefly comprised immigrants, most from North Africa, Syria and Pakistan.

The muggers targeted tourists and the elderly, according to a police spokesman who said they focused chiefly on the busy areas around the Acropolis, Omonia Square and Monastiraki

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