Two officers were shot dead and two injured when fleeing suspects during a car chase opened fire on police in pursuit.
In a coordinated operation on Friday, nine people were arrested -- one Greek and eight foreign nationals, mostly Albanians -- who had set up a criminal gang with other accessories that carried out armed robberies and thefts at car dealerships, tool shops and houses.
Police said the culprits would choose their targets and then burglarize or make armed raids, immobilising guards and employees with their guns, while others acted as look-outs, and then would sell the items or give the stolen cars and tools to other criminals.
According to the investigation so far, they gang has carried out a total of 16 burglaries and hold-ups, including that of a used car lot in Nea Erythraia on January 17 from which 9 Volvo cars -- one of which two of the perpetrators (Albanians) had given to the perpetrators of the Rendi shooting.
The gang was also responsible for a hold-up last October of a car transport company in Magoula in which the company employees were tied and gagged and in which the perpetrators took off with 93,000 euros in cash, five cars, and several state car licence plates; a 30 March hold-up in Kapandriti in which seven cars and a safebox containing some 500,000 euros in checks were taken; and an April 1 theft of 190,000 euros in cash from a safebox in a car dealership again in Kapandriti.
In all, police said, the gang had stolen 47 cars from seven car dealerships or car rental companies.
In the arrestees' possession and at several hideouts and warehouses, police found and seized 7 pistols, two hunting rifles and ammunition, a large number of stolen electric and electronic devices, minor quantities of cannabis, a large number of forged ID cards and other documents, 40 cell phones, 2,500 euros in cash, medicines, car keys, cosmetics, tools and other items deriving from thefts.
The detainees were taken before a public prosecutor on Saturday, while the investigation is continuing into possible implication of the gang members in other criminal acts.
Police arrest third man wanted in Rendi shootout case
Police on Sunday afternoon arrested the third of the four expatriates from Russia who had participated in the bloody clash with two killed and two wounded policemen of the Dias group in Rendi.
The man is a 24-year-old known for robberies who, following investigations and information provided, was detected in Menidi and was arrested while walking in a street. He will be led before an investigator on Monday together with the rest. Police are continuing investigations for the arrest of the fourth, who had been wounded during the shootout with the police.