This is not the plot of a movie thriller. This is a real story that occurred in the early morning hours of Thursday in the village of Paiania, 50 kilometers East of Athens. Two robbers approached a house in the village. The resident took notice of them, turned on the lights and called the police that arrived immediately while the burglars fled. Together with other residents armed with hunting rifles, the police tried to locate the criminals.
There were hiding just a couple of hundred meters away in a nearby hill. When the search action ended, the residents went home and th epolicemen returned to the station.
However almost an hour later the two burglars broke into another home of the neighborhood. They put a knife at the neck of a woman. Her two sons woke up from the noise, the 24-year-old grabbed his hunting rifle.
The burglars fled with the two sons chasing them. A couple of meters away from the house, the fatal shot: one of the burglar, 45, was dropping dead shot by the young man’s rifle. The veterinary student, who was had a license for the rifle as he is a hunter, was detained by the police. Together with the second burglar, who was unharmed.
The man’s lawyer told Greek media, that his client was devastated by the incident and that he had absolutely no intention to shoot and kill the thief on the run. “He accidentally pressed the trigger and the gun went off,” the lawyer said.
“He was a quiet young man,” said the student’s neighbors who fully stand by him and even plan a solidarity demonstration.
The veterinary university student will be charged with homicide.
According to police, the two burglars – two bothers – had entered Greece from Albania just three days ago.
Residents Complain about Increasing Crime
The residents complained about the increasing crime in their village and said “it was a matter of time” that such a thing would occur. There is not a single house in the area where burglars had not broke in, say the residents, stressing that there is not police units patrolling at night.
“We cannot go out, we cannot sleep at night” said a resident adding that “burglars had broke into his home twice.”
Another resident, a woman, said that her family members sleep on shifts, with one member always awake to keep an eye for burglars.
“We are hostages in our own village” said another resident claiming about the crime increase of the last months.
“We should not reach such conditions: neither I have to kill nor that the burglar has to steal,” said another.
It is the second time in less than a month that a Greek citizen takes the law into his own hands. Last month, a businessman shot and killed a Romanian burglar in Lakonia area of Peloponnese.
Greece seems to have been surrendered to local and foreign criminal gangs with the police being mostly not in position to protect the citizens. Lack of personnel, lack of means? Nobody can tell exactly.
PS One should not wonder about the rise of extreme-right Chrysi Avgi that organizes street patrols and even offer protection to seniors by taking them to the bank or purchase shopping for them in certain neighborhoods of Athens…