Fugitive Mob Boss Found Hiding at Home

Italian crime boss had been on the run 5 years
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2016 3:22 AM CDT
Fugitive Mob Boss Found in Home Bunker
Antonio Pelle comes out of the closet to surrender himself after five years on the lam, in Reggio Calabria, Italy, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016.   (Italian Police via AP)

One of Italy's most-wanted fugitive mob bosses was arrested after five years on the lam Wednesday when police found him hiding in a home bunker built between the bathroom and his son's bedroom. Antonio Pelle, 54, crawled out of his hiding place on his stomach to the top of an armoire that had shielded the bunker at his home in southern Reggio Calabria, the AP reports. Video of his surrender showed at least two dozen police officers surrounding the wardrobe waiting for him to emerge. Pelle is considered the boss of the Pelle-Romeo clan of San Luca, which is part of the Calabrian 'Ndrangheta mob.

Pelle, known as "Mamma," was three years into a 20-year prison sentence for mafia association and arms and drug trafficking when he slipped out of a hospital in the town of Locri in September 2011. He had been taken to the hospital to be treated for anorexia, Italian news reports said. A police commander said 50 officers had searched the two-storey villa before his recapture, "but it took a very attentive eye to discover his hiding place." (A 'Ndrangheta crime boss who had been on the run for 20 years was captured in bed in July.)

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