By Andria Kades
Police are investigating a spate of robberies in the Dhali area which appear to be linked with a gang of Turkish Cypriots.
At least three people are believed to be involved a spokeswoman for the force told the Cyprus Mail on Thursday after one of the suspects was remanded in court earlier this week and admitted his involvement.
Early on Tuesday morning, a 23-year-old permanent resident of the northern part of Famagusta was crossing to the government-controlled areas with his vehicle but had the headlights switched off at around 2.20am.
Police followed him as he drove towards the Dhali area in Nicosia but when he got out of the vehicle, officers began to chase him. Upon realising he was being followed he threw away a loaded pistol and mobile phone which were later seized as evidence, police said.
Officers caught up with him and he was remanded in court for eight-days on Wednesday.
According to police he has since admitted his involvement in six robberies between April and July this year. He broke into petrol stations, car sales premises and a café. Police believe he was not operating alone.
On the night the 23-year-old was arrested, two hooded people with their faces covered were trying to break into a kiosk at around 3am.
A passerby noticed them and the suspects pointed their guns at them to ensure they wouldn’t be chased and managed to get away.
There have been some 40 robberies in the Dhali and Nisou areas in the past few months. During the Easter holidays a betting shop was broken into and all TVs were stolen from the premises. In a separate case, a group of men entered a kiosk with four people emptying out the shelves and two casually drinking beers.
Police believe the cases are linked. “It’s a gang of Turkish Cypriots,” a spokeswoman said. Asked how many people were believed to be involved she said “at least three”.
Pera Choriou Nisou police are investigating the case.