Crime car stolen from Cyprus police pound

NICOSIA (AFP) – Seven Cypriot police officers were suspended yesterday after a car that may have been used in serious crimes vanished from a police compound supposedly under 24-hour guard in the southeastern town of Larnaca. An inquiry was launched after the car was found burnt – apparently to destroy evidence – soon after being stolen from the compound at Larnaca police headquarters. The day before, the car was found with false number plates, burglar’s tools and balaclavas, leading police to believe it could help crack a series of unsolved crimes. Despite the constant surveillance in the police compound, thieves broke in and drove off undetected. No one realized the car was missing until a nearby arson incident was reported. An embarrassed police hierarchy swiftly suspended seven officers, including the Larnaca divisional commander, Larnaca’s deputy police chief.