One of Italy’s most wanted gangsters was finally tracked down after being on the run for 20 years, thanks to a chance sighting on Google Street View.
Convicted murderer Gioacchino Gammino, 61, was serving a life sentence at Rebibbia prison in Rome when he escaped in 2002. Police in Sicily have been searching for the crime boss ever since, and had an inkling he might be in Spain.
His exact whereabouts were tracked to Galapagar, a town on the northwest outskirts of Madrid, after police saw in Google Street View a man strongly resembling Gammino outside a fruit and vegetable shop.
Officers confirmed their suspicions by browsing a Facebook page for Cocina de Manu, a Sicilian restaurant in the town that has since shut down. Images on the page showed the fugitive had been working as a chef under the name of Manuel; he was identified by a scar on his chin.
He was arrested on December 17, according to a report published in La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper, on Wednesday.
“How did you find me? I haven’t even called my family for 10 years!” Gammino reportedly told the cops when he was cuffed.
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He was part of a former organized crime group known as Stidda, which has its roots in southern Sicily. Gammino was found guilty of murdering a man, who he thought was a rival gang member, in 1989. The mobster was jailed in 1998 and managed to walk out of Rebibbia prison four years later while a film crew was shooting a scene there.
Gammino will be sent back to Italy to finish his sentence. ®