Racer was getaway man for robbery ring

A 43-year-old motorcycle racer, arrested on Tuesday after a shootout with police in central Athens, is believed to be the getaway driver for a robbery ring thought to be behind 18 armed raids, including a holdup at the premises of the health insurance fund for Athens journalists (EDOEAP) in April. Ballistics tests on a Russian-made Makarov semi-automatic pistol, allegedly used by the suspect to fire at police on Tuesday, matched the weapon to one used in all 18 robberies carried out over the past six months. Police said the Makarov had been used to fire warning shots at the outset of each raid but had also resulted in three injuries. The 43-year-old is believed to have carried out the raids, chiefly on stores and supermarkets, with at least another two suspects.