Police know who robbers are

Police said yesterday that they had determined the identities of four robbers who eluded arrest following Monday’s bloody raid on a bank in central Athens, but would not reveal them until they have incontestable evidence for their conviction. Public Order Minister Giorgos Voulgarakis asked senior police officials and the prosecutor responsible for cases linked to terrorism to ensure that the investigation into the raid is a low-profile one and that no hasty assessments are made until the case against the robbers is watertight. Photographs of the suspects, taken from the bank’s closed-circuit television system, may be released if fresh evidence emerges, Voulgarakis said. After analyzing the CCTV coverage from the raid and interviewing eyewitnesses, police confirmed that the four robbers were all known to police. «But it’s one thing knowing who they are and another being able to counter their claims that they just happened to be in the area at the time of the raid,» a senior officer said. A publicized photo of the fifth robber, who was injured during a police shootout after the raid, prompted many citizens to call police with possible leads. Officers conducted several searches yesterday after receiving tip-offs from citizens about the location of the gang’s hideout. Police are convinced that the gang members have a hideout in central Athens as they were carrying heavy weapons that would have been difficult to transport. Meanwhile, ballistics tests revealed that the gun used in the raid had not been fired before. The injured robber, Yiannis Dimitrakis, was still in critical condition yesterday while a bank guard – also injured during the robbery – was expected to leave the hospital today.

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