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CRIME

Rome museum robbed of €10,000

Thieves held up the Centrale Montemartini museum in the south of Rome on Sunday, making off with some €10,000.

Rome museum robbed of €10,000
Inside Rome's Centrale Montemartini museum, a converted power plant. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Two men armed with handguns approached the ticket office at around 5 pm, while a few visitors were still queueing to enter, Rai News reported.

One of the robbers aimed his gun at a member of staff while the other forced another employee to lead him to the museum's safe. The thieves dragged the safe to the exit, where a third accomplice was waiting in a get-away car.

No one was reported injured. 

READ ALSO: Italian band's live rig and one-of-a-kind instruments stolen in Gothenburg

Police are using witnesses' account and CCTV footage to try to identify the men, whose faces were covered for the heist. 

The Centrale Montermartini was closed on Monday as usual. Housed inside a former power station in the industrial-turned-trendy neighbourhood of Ostiense, the public museum displays ancient sculpture and artefacts that belong to the municipality of Rome. 

Nothing was stolen from its collection in Sunday's robbery. 

More daring art heists in Italy have seen thieves make off with works worth millions of euros. In 2015, a gang stole masterpieces by Rubens and Tintoretto from a museum in Verona with the help of a security guard, while several precious paintings have been snatched from churches. 

And in January, jewels worth several thousands of euros and owned by Qatar's ruling family were stolen from a show at the Doge's Palace in Venice. 

READ ALSO: Italy's art police recover works stolen from quake-hit churches

Italy's art police recover works stolen from quake-hit churches
Photo: Carabinieri

CRIME

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

Italian police on Saturday arrested a mafia member suspected of killing two alleged Chinese prostitutes and a Colombian sex worker in Rome, local media reported.

 Italian police arrest mafia member after three women killed in Rome

The bodies of the two Chinese women were discovered in a residential building in the upmarket Prati district on Thursday morning, while the body of the South American was found in an apartment in the same neighbourhood an hour later.

All three victims were stabbed, according to Italian media reports.

According to the Corriere della Sera newspaper, footage from surveillance cameras allowed police to identify 51-year-old Giandavide De Pau, who had been prosecuted in the past for drug trafficking and sexual assault.

The suspect is reportedly a member of a mafia clan headed by Michele Senese, who is currently serving a life sentence. De Pau is believed to have been one of Senese’s closest collaborators, acting as his personal driver and handyman.

In 2008 and 2011, the suspect had also spent time in a psychiatric hospital.

It is unknown whether the suspected killer was carrying out a mafia hit or acting alone, possibly under the influence of drugs, which were found at the home of some family members where he is believed to have sought refuge after the police manhunt got underway, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several newspapers had warned of a possible “serial killer” in the Italian capital.

The body of one of the Chinese victims was spotted by a neighbour where it lay, naked on a landing. The woman, believed to be in her 40s, had suffered head and stomach injuries, the newspaper said.

When police entered her apartment, they found the body of the second Chinese woman.

Nobody in the building appeared to have heard the murders take place, according to residents.

“Everybody knew there was a house of ill repute here, I’d see people arriving at 2:00 am, 3:00 am,” a woman who lived in the building told reporters.

The body of the Colombian, who was 65, was found by a friend, Corriere della Sera said.

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