9 Eylül 2011 Cuma

From Chile to Istanbul to Pick Pockets

chile links to original article

(Sabah Newspaper, 7 September 2011)

A Chilean, 74 year-old Victor Manuel Pezoa Barrera, was apprehended
when he attracted the attention of  special security teams while picking
pockets on the tramway in Istanbul. The teams began their operations as
thievery has increased on the Kabataş-Zeytinburnu tramway line and
Pezoa Barrera's actions caused suspicion. The teams surveilled the elderly
man and caught him picking a pocket at Zeytinburnu. It was determined
that the suspect had made secret compartments in his belt and hid the
money he stole there. A search of the suspect turned up 300 Euros,
340TL, three cellphones - one of them an Iphone, and two cameras.

details links to follow-up article

(Sabah Newspaper, 9 September 2011)

Chilean Victor Manuel Pezoa Barrera confessed that he robbed a large
number of people, including tourists, while touring Istanbul. The Chilean
pickpocket claimed in his statement to police to be a 'kleptomaniac',
saying that 'I like Istanbul. I toured and I robbed. Actually I don't need
to but I have an illness.' Cameras, cellphones and wallets were found in
a suitcase in the hotel where Barrera was staying in Aksaray.

He gave his statement at the police station with the help of a certified
Spanish translator, explaining that 'since I was planning to leave Istanbul
in two days I wanted to tour around one more time. I got caught just at
the moment I was focusing on grabbing someone's money. The previous
day I had picked the pocket of a tourist with the same technique.'

A worker at the hotel where Barrera stayed said that 'he was clean-shaven
and well dressed each day.' Following processing at the police station
Barrera will be taken to court to be arraigned for three separate robbery
charges and for attempting to bribe a police officer. The Chilean thief will
then be sent back to his country.

Policeman Hasan Y. caught Berrara in the act the day before yesterday.
He stated that 'I caught him taking 40TL from a citizen's pocket. Those
who saw me trying to take him under control started to cry out 'what do
you want from that old man?!'  When he realized that he couldn't get
away he offered me a 300TL bribe which I didn't accept. I was surprised
when I heard that he was from Chile.'

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