Violent thief held down

A group of people who witnessed a betting-shop owner in Kallithea, southern Athens, being attacked with a hammer before chasing and apprehending the assailant may have helped to catch a murderer, police said yesterday. The suspect was arrested on Friday after passers-by chased him and pinned him down until the police arrived. The unnamed 59-year-old had threatened to shoot his captors with a sawn-off shotgun but they managed to disarm him. He stole 330 euros from the 60-year-old betting shop owner he attacked, police said. The 59-year-old is suspected of killing another betting-shop owner, Michail Mylonakis, on February 23 and stealing 50,000 euros from his store in Kallithea. The suspect has allegedly confessed to the murder and said he used the money to pay off gambling debts. Police said the assailant had been on the run from authorities since 1993 when he failed to report back to the Halicarnassus Prison after being released on a five-day furlough. He had been jailed after attacking and robbing a jewelry shop owner.

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