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'Pink Panthers': The Profiles of 'Imported' Rolex Bandits - Crafty, Violent, With a Network for Stolen Goods

Details of the action of the members of the criminal organization "Pink Panthers", two of whom were arrested and three identified, for the armed robbery at Rolex, in the center of Athens, which took place on December 20, 2022, have been brought to light by Greek media.

 Three more members were identified, who escaped after the robbery, at different times, abroad.

These are:
63 years old from Montenegro.
A case file was filed against them for criminal organization, robbery and aggravated theft by complicity and for the Weapons Act.

The robbery 
Three of the perpetrators, on 20/12/2022, had invaded the Rolex outlet on Kolokotroni Street, having covered their facial features. In order to gain entry, one of the members, the 63-year-old, pretended to be a customer.

One of them had a pistol with which they immobilized the security employee as well as the store employee and with a hammer that the second one had with him they broke the windows, grabbing 24 rolex watches worth 134,720 euros.

They boarded two stolen motorcycles where their fifth accomplice was waiting for them and fled towards Stadiou Street in the direction of Syntagma Square.

Their elderly accomplice, who was pretending to be a customer, left the store and fled on foot towards Stadiou Street, heading towards Syntagma Square.

The three of the 5 members of the organization, permanent residents of Serbia, entered Greece shortly before the robbery and left immediately after it. In order to make their identification and tracing difficult, they traveled on different dates and from different places.

The theft of motorcycles
The members of the organization, in the early hours of December 19, 2022, over a period of about two hours, proceeded to steal two motorcycles from the Athens area.

The first theft occurred at 02.50 from Pindou Street in Patisia, which was found ten days later on December 29 in Pasionos Street and returned to its owner, while the second took place at 04.46 from Dokou Street in Kypseli and was found on the same day of the robbery, on 20/12 at the junction of Athanasiou Diakos and Porinos streets.

The profile of the "imported bandits"
In particular, regarding the 47-year-old Serb who escaped abroadthe same day after the robbery, he came to Greece nine days before alone and was one of the perpetrators and the one who broke the windows and showcases with the hammer. For his movements, he used a car with Serbian license plates, belonging to a 40-year-old female citizen of Serbia who has not concerned the authorities, while he also participated in the thefts of the two motorcycles as he was allegedly the one who monitored the area the day before.

He, according to the authorities, has connections in various European countries, which helped channel the stolen watches to an extensive network of receivers in various countries.

He was previously arrested for a 2017 robbery of a jewelry store in Switzerland and also for his involvement in another jewelry store robbery in 2016 in Slovenia.

The second "imported" perpetrator was the 48-year-old Serb, who came to Greece six days before the robbery and was also its natural perpetrator. According to the case file, he attacked the security employee and immobilized him. He reportedly escaped 7 days later.

He has been of concern to Serbian authorities as he is wanted for various offences, including robbery, possession and trafficking of weapons and explosive devices.

The 63-year-old from Montenegro was the one described as the "Trojan horse" of the organization, as he impersonated the customer and facilitated the entry of his accomplices into the store. He came to our country by plane one day before the robbery and escaped two days after it again by plane. Due to a motor problem he faces, but also his image in general, he refers to a disabled elderly person. This is how he managed to convince the security officer to keep the door open longer. His involvement was identified by analyzing video footage from other stores.

He too is wanted in Serbia for various offenses including theft and extortion.

The arrested
The 35-year-old arrested is a Greek and he was also the third perpetrator 

who was allegedly holding the pistol with which he threatened the store employee as well as the private security guard, giving them orders in Greek, in order to assume that the robbery was carried out by Greeks and in this way to disorientate the authorities.

He has previously been of concern to the authorities as he has been arrested as a member of a criminal organization that committed armed robberies.

In particular, he is flagged for arson, distinguished cases of theft, damage, serious bodily harm. He was arrested on November 3, 2014 for his involvement in a criminal organization that committed armed robberies at the threat of a pistol or Kalashnikov at supermarkets, electronics stores and gas stations and was released on July 5, 2019.

The second person arrested is the foreigner, from Serbia or Bulgaria, who was registered under different names, aged 35-36, has lived in Greece since at least 2008 and speaks Greek and Serbian. He was the connecting link between the Greek and Serbian perpetrators. He was the one who proceeded to lease the accommodation where the... "imported" perpetrators stayed. On the day of the robbery, he stayed outside the store, acting as a waiter, so that he could inform the police in case they showed up.

He was booked for the Arms Act, outstanding theft cases, forgery, dangerous bodily harm. He was arrested by Greek police., on May 2, 2014, for his participation again in the Pink Panthers. He was held in various prisons and was released on July 9, 2020.

As it emerged from the investigation, for a few days they stayed in a short-term rental apartment in Athens, which was used as their base.

The Pink Panther teams
The organization was structured within the framework of the Transnational Criminal Groups and Organizations of the Balkan Organized Crime, among which the Pink Panther groups have a prominent position.

These groups are made up of… professional criminals, from the countries of the former Yugoslav Republic of, they mainly target jewelry stores and carry out smash and grab robberies or ram and raid burglaries.

Regarding the first method, they initially target large jewelry stores in various European cities, which sell specific brands of watches.

During the robbery, in order to bypass the security measures, i.e. the guard and the security door, one of the members approaches pretending to be the customer. When the guard or employee opens the door, then his accomplices enter, immobilizing customers and employees using guns or anesthetic sprays.

They then use sledgehammers or hammers to smash the display cases and grab jewelry and watches, while fleeing the scene using mostly stolen vehicles which they abandon in nearby locations.

One of the perpetrators, usually on the same day of the robbery, takes the stolen goods to a foreign country - mainly to their countries of origin.

In order to make it difficult for the authorities to find and arrest them, they travel separately, with forged or forged documents. In their conversations with each other, they use numbers registered in the names of non-existent foreigners, while they prefer contact through online applications

  • Published in Greece

Armed robbery at Rolex outlet in central Athens

The armed robbery at a Rolex store that took place on Tuesday morning in the center of Athens has caused a great stir, with the police forces launching a manhunt to locate the perpetrators, but no arrests have been made so far.

  • Published in Greece
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