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CRIME

This Italian newsagent fought off armed robber – with sweets

When an armed robber walked into a newsagent's, his face covered and brandishing a pistol, this shopkeeper was not willing to hand over the contents of his till without first putting up a fight.

This Italian newsagent fought off armed robber - with sweets
Policemen point to the robber's gun. Photo: Carabinieri Bari

The young man pointed his gun at the Bari shop owner as another customer looked on in shock. But the shopkeeper stood his ground and responded by shoving the sweets displays off the counter and hurling the sweets at the would-be robber – who quickly gave up, fleeing the premises.

Two plain-clothes policemen, who were patrolling the area to guard against robberies, spotted the man escaping and were able to catch, disarm and arrest him. While the gun was revealed to have been loaded only with blanks, the man was tried immediately.

The accused, named as 21-year-old Michele Leti, was already known to police for dealing drugs and receiving stolen goods. Leti was given a suspended sentence of one year and ten months.

Watch the fearless shopkeeper scare off the thief in the CCTV footage below.
 

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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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