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Father of teen church robbery suspect remanded

handcuffs
File photo

A 44-year-old man was remanded in custody for six days on Friday, a day after he was arrested in relation to a string of church robberies in Paphos.

The man is the father of the 16-year-old boy who was arrested on Tuesday as part of the same investigation.

The boy had been arrested alongside two men, aged 25 and 20, after police found them inside a car.

The trio were remanded in custody for eight days on Wednesday, with Paphos police’s deputy operations chief Michalis Nikolaou saying the three had all admitted to their crimes under interrogation.

With the 44-year-old’s consent, police searched his house where they found items whose origin he could not give adequate explanations for.

Among them was an ancient gilded cross which was identified as having been stolen from a church in Paphos.

Previously, the 25-year-old was found to be in possession of gold leaves, coins, watches, and other expensive items, and a search in the car he had been driving turned up burglary tools, gloves, masks, coins and other objects, which again “he could not adequately explain”.

All four persons are facing charges of conspiracy to commit a felony, church burglary and theft, possession of burglary tools and their participation in a criminal organisation.

A total of 13 break-ins had taken place at churches in the Paphos district in the space of 22 days at the end of January and the beginning of February, with money and religious paraphernalia having been reported stolen.

The three younger men allegedly admitted to the burglaries, with police saying they are continuing their investigations to determine how much money they actually stole.

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