Gang of 6 caught in crackdown

A 24-hour police crackdown on petty criminals in Attica ended yesterday with the arrest of six Roma who are believed to be part of a gang that is responsible for about 200 break-ins. Police said that the six men and women, suspected of being part of a 15-member gang, were arrested in the operation, which involved more than 2,000 police officers. Over the past four years, the gang is believed to have broken into holiday homes in the wider area around Attica, reaching as far as Corinth and Thebes. Police said that the suspects would literally empty out the contents of houses and then sell the goods at the outdoor market of Schistos. The gang is also believed to be responsible for seven recent break-ins which took place in Oropos – all homes belonging to elderly citizens. Police launched the massive crackdown in an attempt to respond to the sharp rise in the city’s crime rates. As part of the operation, 14,213 people were questioned in central Athens and northeastern parts of Attica, while some 525 were detained for different offenses.