Police hunt for armed gang’s den

Police and the anti-terrorism squad were continuing investigations yesterday into an Athens bank robbery on Monday that resulted in injuries to three people as sources told Kathimerini that police were close to tracking down at least two suspects. Authorities say the five gang members who held up a branch of the National Bank in central Athens carried heavy weapons that were hard to transport and are likely have a hideout, possibly in the city center. Police managed to catch one of the robbers after injuring him in one of many shootouts that took place. The suspect remanded, Yiannis Dimitrakis, had with him a bag that contained the stolen money and two semi-automatic guns, three hand grenades and bullets. In a bid to get the public to come forth with information, police have released a photo of Dimitrakis. They also asked any bystanders who took pictures of the robbery or the shootout on their mobile phones to give the images to police. Authorities are examining Dimitrakis’s mobile phone records and his computer’s hard disk in search of more evidence. Dimitrakis – and the other four gang members – have been linked with anarchist groups but are also believed to be part of a larger gang of bank robbers. The group has been dubbed the «Thieves in Black» because the 15 or so people thought to comprise the group wear black clothes during robberies. Sources said police have identified two gang members from Monday’s holdup and are close to pinpointing the other two. Authorities have ruled out any connection with Greece’s notorious terrorist group November 17 but believe that the gang has the appropriate weapons to carry out a terrorist attack.

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