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Vaud police capture two of five prison escapees
Aerial view of Bois-Mermet prison. Photo: Canton of Vaud

Vaud police capture two of five prison escapees

Published: 15 May 2013 21:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 May 2013 21:55 GMT+02:00

Police have captured two of the five prisoners who made a dramatic escape this week from a jail near Lausanne using weapons and tools passed to them from accomplices on the outside.

Vaud cantonal police said on Wednesday that they arrested two of the escapees from the Bois-Mermet prison and two of their accomplices during a manhunt involving some 80 officers.
   
The two captured escapees, a 34-year-old Albanian convicted of drug crimes and a 22-year-old Kosovar convicted of theft, were caught in an apartment on the outskirts of Lausanne, along with one Serbian accomplice, police said in a statement.

Another Serb believed to have helped them escape was arrested in the central canton of Lucerne, police said.
   
The force said it was continuing its investigations "with the aim of arresting the remaining escaped convicts". 
   
Two of the men still on the run, a 47-year-old Frenchman and a 45-year-old Serb are members of the "Pink Panther" gang of international jewel thieves, who were given their name after British detectives found a diamond ring hidden in a jar of face cream, echoing an incident in Peter Sellers' 1963 comedy "The Pink Panther".
   
A 31-year old Bosnian, who had been held for theft, also remains on the run, police said.
   
The five men took less than five minutes to escape from the Bois-Mermet prison on Tuesday morning before the eyes of some 30 other inmates and guards.
   
They were in the prison courtyard when three masked accomplices on the outside climbed a ladder and threw a bag filled with weapons and other items into the yard.
   
Grabbing the gun from the bag, the five men threatened the other detainees and the guards and sprayed them with some kind of irritant to keep them away and climbed the wall using a ladder, also provided by their accomplices, police said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

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