Imprisoned leftist caught robbing bank

Oct. 3, 2007 at 1:27 AM
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SIENA, Italy, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- A former leader of the Italian Red Brigades has been charged with robbing a bank while out of prison on work release.

Cristoforo Piancone and an accomplice allegedly held up the headquarters of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Italian news agency ANSA reported. He was arrested Monday after the pair left the bank on a motorbike with $241,000.

Piancone has been in prison for 25 years, serving a life sentence for six murders and two attempted murders. The Red Brigades, an urban guerrilla movement, was responsible for a wave of violence, including the 1976 kidnapping and killing of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro.

When police fired a warning shot at the motorbike, Piancone allegedly tried to return fire, but he had forgotten to release the safety catch, ANSA reported.

The accomplice escaped with some of the money. Piancone had the rest, as well as four handguns, police said.

Investigators were trying to determine if the robbery’s aim was the financing of more terrorist activity.

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