New hunt for elusive robber

Two weeks after losing track of Greece’s most elusive robber in the mountains of southwestern Thessaly, police mounted a new hunt in the area over the weekend after Nikos Palaiocostas was sighted in a stolen jeep on Friday. Wanted for bank robberies and a high-profile kidnapping, the fugitive has kept police on their toes since his 1990 escape from jail, where he was held for theft and burglaries. By late on Sunday, scores of special police officers with bloodhounds had been unable to catch Palaiocostas, 43, whom officers sighted in a jeep near the village of Anthiro, some 40 kilometers southwest of his native Trikala. After a chase, Palaiocostas was forced to abandon the stolen car when a tire burst, only to vanish on foot into the forest. He had last been seen on December 21. Palaiocostas’s most famous coup was the 1995 kidnapping of industrialist Alexandros Haitoglou, who was freed for a ransom of 260 million drachmas (763,000 euros).

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