NEWS

‘Robber in black’ out of luck

One of the two people arrested following a bloody robbery at a hardware store in Athens late on Monday is Symeon Seisidis, a suspected member of the so-called «robbers in black» who has been at large for more than four years, police said yesterday. The 34-year-old has been on the police’s wanted list since January 2006, along with his brother Marios and Grigoris Tsironis after they allegedly took part in an armed robbery of a bank in central Athens which led to another robber, Yiannis Dimitrakis, being shot and arrested. Last October, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis offered a reward of 600,000 euros for their arrest. All four suspects are alleged to have carried out several bank robberies and to have links to anarchist groups. Police have also been examining their possible participation in terrorist attacks too. Seisidis was arrested in Votanikos, near central Athens, at 9.15 p.m. on Monday. He tried to evade police but officers shot him in the leg during an exchange of fire. A Glock pistol, three bullets and a stun grenade were found in his possession. Another suspect, identified as A.S., was also arrested. He too had a handgun on him. Although he was not on the wanted list for the January 2006 robbery, police suspect that he may have been involved. Sources said forensic tests indicated that neither of the guns has been used in any terrorist attack. The two men are not thought to have carried out the robbery at the Praktiker store on Pireos Street, in which another two men threatened staff with guns and took 50,000 euros in cash before shooting an employee in the chest. The two men arrested are suspected of providing backup. The police have long suspected that there are direct links between common criminals and terrorist groups. Sources said yesterday that these suspicions have grown after it emerged that a car used by the alleged leader of Revolutionary Struggle, Nikos Maziotis, was stolen at the same time from the same place as a vehicle used in the abduction of Thessaloniki industrialist Giorgos Mylonas in June 2008.