The ever-deepening economic crisis and the increasing dire financial straits of his own business prompted a 44-year-old Glyfada boutique owner to turn robber and start terrorising the suburbs of southeast Attica, all along the coast from Nea Smyrni to Voula, Alimos and Vari.

In his brief but busy career as an outlaw, the 44-year-old carried out a total of 26 armed robberies, of which five were carried out last Saturday in his own neighbourhood of Glyfada, all on the same day. His victims included corner shops, state lottery and football pool betting agencies, hotels, fast-food restaurants, souvlaki shops, supermarkets and even passers by.

He was finally caught this week in Glyfada by officers from the local police department, based on the report filed by a doctor that was held up in by the suspect in his surgery and robbed of 300 euro on Monday.

In statements to police, the suspect said that he turned to robbery after his shop ran into difficulties. During a search of the suspect’s car and his shop in Glyfada, police found a replica handgun, eight CO2-powered pellets, four mobile phones, a full-face hood, three pairs of gloves, two screwdrivers, a pair of pliers and another person’s ATM card.

The suspect was led before an Athens public prosecutor to be formally charged.