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Couple face trial over safety deposit box thefts

A Larnaca couple suspected of stealing close to €500,000 in cash and valuables from bank safety deposit boxes have been referred for trial by the Criminal Court, it emerged on Wednesday.

The couple will appear before the court on September 13.

The unemployed sign maker, 36, and his 32-year-old wife are accused of stealing €474,000 in cash and €10,000 in valuables from safety deposit boxes at Solidarity Co-op and the Bank of Cyprus between March 2015 and January 2016.

Police said the break-ins and thefts were carried out by a person who had access to the area when the branches were open.

The 36-year-old suspect was the only individual from the list of customers who had a box at both branches.

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 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.

The suspect 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 said at the time that they had seized property and cash worth €200,000 found in the suspect’s possession.

 

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