Cyprus Mail

Man who broke out of cell named (Updated)

wanted man

A burglary suspect who removed loose glass bricks to get out of a police detention cell in Lakatamia in Nicosia on Thursday night was named on Friday by police who launched a manhunt when the escape was eventually noticed.

The suspect has been named as Savvas Charalambous, 28, from Palaichori who was detained at the police station pending a court appearance.

Speaking to Cybc, police spokesman Christos Andreou, said the suspect had been arrested in a case of theft and burglary committed in Nicosia on January 16. He was arrested on January 22 and was being held until his trial on February 13.

Andreou said preliminary investigations showed that the window in the particular cell was damaged. The window was made of glass bricks and the suspect was able to loosen them and escape.

“These conditions are being investigated,” he said, adding that the chief of police had asked for a report on the events leading to the escape.

The detention centres are evaluated at very regular intervals,” he said. Andreou said the last time the Lakatamia station was inspected was May 2023 and found to be within specs.

When asked if it was a common practice for suspects to be detained at police stations rather than the central prisons, Andreou said this happens sometimes but usually only for short periods of time due to overcrowding at the prisons.

“Yesterday [Thursday] we had 80 suspects in approximately 180 police detention centres. Half of the prisoners we have in police custody are awaiting trial,” he said.

Asked if it was true that there were 40 such suspects at the Lakatamia detention centre with only a handful of police officers on duty, Andreou said he didn’t have that data to hand.

“As I have said, the circumstances under which this escape took place are being investigated by CID Nicosia. Regarding what exactly happened, I have said that the chief of police expects a report to see if there was any issue either with the building facilities, or among our members, regarding this incident.”

He said every case of escape is different. Sometimes it’s due to negligence by members of the force and other times due to unsuitable facilities.

Police are appealing for anyone who has information on the escapee to contact CID Nicosia on 22802202 / 22802222 or the citizen’s line 1460 or contact their nearest police station.

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