Fugitive 'gangsters' held after holing up in school
15 June 2006, BRUSSELS — Two suspected gangsters who hid in a Wallonian school on Thursday have surrendered to police.
15 June 2006
BRUSSELS — Two suspected gangsters who hid in a Wallonian school on Thursday have surrendered to police.
Police found the two suspects hiding in the cellar of an electronics store next to the school in Péruwelz in the province of Henegouwen.
An earlier sweep of the school failed to locate the two suspects, despite the fact they initially took refuge there to evade arrest.
Police then searched houses and gardens in the vicinity and eventually found the two suspects in the last building to be searched.
It is possible the duo tried to find an escape route but became trapped in the cellar of the electronics store.
The two suspects are alleged to have stolen a dump truck from the utility company IPALLE in Froyennes at about 1.15am on Thursday.
It is suspected they planned to use the truck for a robbery.
Doornik police were alerted to the theft at 1.24am and a police chase involving three police cars ensued when the truck was sighted on the motorway between Doornik and Péruwelz.
Just before the Péruwelz exit, the suspects tried to push the leading police car into a roadside canal. They then opened fire on the two other police cars, but no one was hurt.
After taking the Péruwelz exit, the fugitives abandoned the truck along the Neuvechaussée and walked a couple of hundred metres along the railway line and reached the vicinity of the station.
They then climbed over the back wall of the public high school, which is situated close to the main city square.
Péruwelz police sealed off the area and was assisted by federal police officers.
Twenty families were evacuated from their homes as police continued to search for the suspects throughout much of Thursday.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news