A 36-year-old man held in connection with the theft of some €500,000 in cash and jewellery from safety deposit boxes in two banks will remain in custody for another six days, a Larnaca court decided on Saturday.
Marios Loizou, an unemployed sign maker, was arrested along with his wife, 32, on suspicion of stealing around €490,000 in cash and €10,000 worth of jewellery from safety deposit boxes at Bank of Cyprus and Solidarity co-op bank in Larnaca.
His wife’s brother, 28, was also arrested this week. He has been remanded in custody for two days.
Police said the thefts took place between March 2015 and January this year.
Police presumed that the break-ins and thefts occurred when the branches were open by a person who had access to the area.
The 36-year-old suspect is the only individual from the list of customers who had a box at the co-op and Bank of Cyprus.
There were no security cameras in the rooms where the safety deposits are stored. Customers were left alone while accessing their boxes.
According to police, when the 36-year-old suspect accessed his safety deposit, he would request to remain for twice the amount of time other clients spent – around 20 minutes – instead of 10 and always had two bags with him.
His visits coincided with the period the thefts took place, police said.
Police have not disclosed how the perpetrator opened the boxes. The Sunday Mail has learned, however, that he used a special home-made tool, which left little or no sign on the outside of the box.
According to police, during the period the thefts took place, the suspect had expressed interest in buying a boat worth €400,000 and to invest €333,000 in an aircraft recycling business. He was also looking to open a printing service and manage a Japanese restaurant in Nicosia.
Authorities have so far seized property and cash worth €200,000 found in the suspect’s possession.