Police used Google Maps to track down a mafia fugitive who was on the run for 20 years

·1 min read
A Google Street View image of a grocery shop was used to pinpoint the location of Gioacchino Gammino.
A Google Street View image of a grocery shop was used to pinpoint the location of Gioacchino Gammino.Google Maps
  • Police arrested mafia fugitive Gioacchino Gammino in Spain on December 17, La Repubblica reported.

  • Investigators told The Guardian and Reuters they used Google Street View to pinpoint his location.

  • They also found a picture of him on the Facebook page of a local restaurant.

A wanted Sicilian mafia fugitive was tracked down using Google Street View after 20 years on the run.

La Repubblica reported the news first.

Italian police had already traced the convicted murderer, Gioacchino Gammino, to Spain. While looking at Google Street View, police saw a photograph of a man who appeared to be Gammino standing outside a grocery store, prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi confirmed to The Guardian.

Nicola Altiero, deputy director of the Italian anti-mafia police, also told Reuters the investigation had used Google Street View to pinpoint Gammino's location.

Further investigation revealed a nearby restaurant, which had a photograph of Gammino dressed as a chef on its Facebook page, Lo Voi also confirmed to The Guardian.

"It's not as if we spend our days wading through Google Maps to find fugitives," Lo Voi told The Guardian.

"There were many previous and long investigations, which led us to Spain. We were on a good path, with Google Maps helping to confirm our investigations," he added.

Gioacchino Gammino escaped from a prison in Rome in 2002 and 2003, where he was serving a life sentence for murder, per Reuters. He was arrested on December 17, La Repubblica reports.

Altiero told Reuters that Gammino is in custody in Spain. Police hope to transfer him back to Italy by the end of February.

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