Slippery bandit escapes again

Greece’s most wanted robber, who has evaded police capture for some 14 years, escaped the grasp of authorities again after a major operation to arrest him near Ioannina on Monday failed, a report said yesterday. Acting on a tip-off that Nikos Palaiocostas, 43, was going to rob a supermarket, police surrounded the building, Ta Nea daily reported. Officers, including special forces personnel, seem to have been fooled by the fact that Palaiocostas was sporting a beard. The robber, for whose arrest police are offering a 750,000-euro bounty, became aware of the police presence and made off before officers could react. Palaiocostas escaped from Korydallos Prison in 1990 and has been on the run ever since. Police have mounted at least four unsuccessful manhunts to capture him since 2003. He is thought to have a hideout in the mountains of southern Thessaly, near his native Trikala.