By Angelos Anastasiou
After extracting confessions from two of the three suspects arrested in connection with the theft of a 70-year-old jeweller’s briefcase, which contained €15,000 in cash and jewellery worth €250.000, police believe they have all but cracked the case.
According to a police statement, members of Limassol CID identified, located, and arrested three men – 25, 26, and a 56-year-old jeweller, believed to have been the mastermind – suspected of having planned and perpetrated the crime last Tuesday.
Following an eight-day remand ordered by the Limassol district court on Thursday against the 25-year-old, seven-day remands were issued against the other two men on Friday.
In their statements, the two young men confessed to acting on instructions from the 56-year-old, and that two failed attempts at stealing the briefcase had preceded the crime on the same day.
Specifically, the 26-year-old appears to have called the victim on Tuesday, expressing interest in buying jewellery, and he and the 25-year-old arrived at her home shortly afterward, but were unable to acquire the briefcase.
In a second call, the 26-year-old presented himself as a prospective tenant of the woman’s country home in Lofou, Limassol.
On the way to the house, the two men deliberately bumped their car into the woman’s vehicle, so that they could gain access to the briefcase under the pretext of inspecting the car for damage. But when they asked the elderly lady to open her car’s trunk, they realised the briefcase had been in the car, not stowed away in the boot.
Thus they devised an alternative plan, according to which the 26-year-old kept the woman busy with a tour of the country home, while the 25-year-old smashed her car’s rear window and retrieved the briefcase.
The two men said they delivered the briefcase to the 56-year-old, who rewarded them with €5,000 each. They both used the money to buy two used cars, which were identified and seized as evidence by police.
Despite the two men’s confessions, the 56-year-old denies any involvement in the case, but police are examining whether a quantity of jewellery found in his store might be part of the stolen property. Police have also not ruled out him having sold the stolen jewellery, or even melted them, as gold-processing tools were also found at his store.