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Italy: Two officers shot dead as robbers escape Trieste police headquarters

Two officers have been killed in a shootout at a police headquarters building in the northern Italian city of Trieste.

Italy: Two officers shot dead as robbers escape Trieste police headquarters
Photo: GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP

The officers were shot after they apprehended two suspected robbers on Friday and brought them into head office for questioning.

The Italian media is reporting that the two suspects were brothers and had been accused of stealing a scooter. 

It is believed that one of the robbers asked to use the bathroom before stealing a gun from an officer and shooting him. A shootout ensued, in which the two deceased officers – along with three further police and one of the robbers – was injured. 

 

 

The robbers managed to escape, although they were both later apprehended by police. 

The officers have been named as Pierluigi Rotta, 34, and Matteo De Menego, 31. Both were seriously wounded in the shootout, later succumbing to their injuries in hospital. 

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The Mayor of Trieste, Orlando Pocci, told Italian media that the incident was a “tragedy which leaves our community speechless”. 

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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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