By Constantinos Psillides
A 45-year old woman from Larnaca and her 18-year old son were on Thursday remanded for six days in custody by the Larnaca District Court, in connection with the theft of €20,000 from the home of a priest at Troulloi village, Larnaca district.
The two suspects visited the priest’s home on Tuesday at around 5pm, while he was out. They were greeted by his wife, 83, who let them in after they said they needed help. Police said she gave them €10 as help.
While the two women were in the living room chatting, the teenager asked to go to the toilet. When he returned, he complained he had stomach pains and wanted to go to the doctor.
According to the priest’s wife, the suspects left in a red saloon car.
The priest returned home at around 10pm only to find that two bags containing cash in various currencies were missing from a drawer in the bedroom.
The priest told police that the €20,000 came from donations and was meant to buy an icon from a church that is under construction. British pounds and Australian dollars were also included in the loot.
Police later identified the car and arrested the suspects.
According to investigators, the woman was the first to be located. Upon arrest, she admitted to visiting the priest’s home, but denied that she stole the money.
A search in her car yielded €260 for which she had no explanation. The 18-year old was found in his apartment in Larnaca. Searching his car, police found €175.
They were both taken to Larnaca police headquarters where they admitted to the theft, but gave different accounts on how much money were stolen.
The woman claimed that they only took €1,150 and that she gave €550 to her son. She also claimed that she gave €140 to her daughter, €100 to her former husband and that she spent €100 on bingo cards.
The 18-year old told a different story. The son said that his mother told him to find a way into the bedroom and steal whatever he could find. He said that he found the money, took it and when his mother counted it in the car she gave him half, €9,000.
He told investigators that he gave his brother €7,000 for safekeeping – telling him that he won it in a bingo game – and spent the remaining €2,000 partying with friends in Ayia Napa.
The 18-year old’s story was corroborated by his brother, who gave police back €6,450. The sister was also called in, bringing with her €40 of the €140 her mother gave her. The 24-year old told police that her mother had in fact told her that the money was stolen.
Police have retrieved almost €7,000 and are looking for the remaining €13,000.