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Thieves rob supermarket in front of police

Two men have been arrested after robbing a supermarket in southern Italy, only to discover the hold-up coincided with the patrol of an anti-theft police squad.

Thieves rob supermarket in front of police
Police charged into the supermarket just as the thieves were making their getaway. Screenshot: LiveNetwork Portali/Carabinieri Bari/YouTube

Giovanni Schiavone, 30, and 31-year-old Antonio Costanzo were arrested seconds after robbing the supermarket in the Modugno area of Bari on Friday, Ansa reported.

A police video published on Tuesday shows the two running across the street, with one pulling out a pistol as he enters the supermarket.

Unbeknown to the thieves, an anti-theft police patrol was outside the store at the time.

The officers’ suspicions were aroused after spotting the two men rush into the supermarket dressed in motorcycle helmets, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno said.

Police charged into the supermarket just as the thieves were making their getaway, pinning the robbers to the floor.

It took less than a minute for other officers to arrive, one passing handcuffs to his colleague which were promptly put to use.

Police recovered around €300 stolen from the supermarket till and the gun, which La Gazzetta said turned out to be a blank pistol. The two thieves were arrested and taken to the local police station.

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CRIME

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

Prosecutors in New York on Tuesday returned dozens of antiquities stolen from Italy and valued at around $19 million, some of which were found in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York returns millions worth of stolen art to Italy

“These 58 pieces represent thousands of years of rich history, yet traffickers throughout Italy utilized looters to steal these items and to line their own pockets,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, noting that it was the third such repatriation in nine months.

“For far too long, they have sat in museums, homes, and galleries that had no rightful claim to their ownership,” he said at a ceremony attended by Italian diplomats and law enforcement officials.

The stolen items had been sold to Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s leading collectors of ancient art, the DA’s office said, adding that he had been slapped with a “first-of-its-kind lifetime ban on acquiring antiquities.”

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Among the recovered treasures, which in some cases were sold to “unwitting collectors and museums,” were a marble head of the Greek goddess Athena from 200 B.C.E. and a drinking cup dating back to 470 B.C.E, officials said.

The pieces were stolen at the behest of four men who “all led highly lucrative criminal enterprises – often in competition with one another – where they would use local looters to raid archaeological sites throughout Italy, many of which were insufficiently guarded,” the DA’s office said.

One of them, Pasquale Camera, was “a regional crime boss who organized thefts from museums and churches as early as the 1960s. He then began purchasing stolen artifacts from local looters and sold them to antiquities dealers,” it added.

It said that this year alone, the DA’s office has “returned nearly 300 antiquities valued at over $66 million to 12 countries.”

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