One of Italy’s most wanted gangsters was tracked down using Google Street View after being on the run for 20 years

Unusually, one of the most wanted members of the Italian mafia was located after being on the run for 20 years after being captured in Google Street View. As you may know, Street View is a representation of Google Maps and Google Earth that provides street-level panoramas, allowing users to see parts of selected cities and their surrounding metropolitan areas.

Gioacchino Gammino had been sentenced to life in prison for murder and criminal association at the end of the last century but managed to escape in 2002. Since then, Italian police have maintained an active investigation, suspecting that the fugitive had fled to Spain.

Thanks to the popular geolocation powered tool, Italian authorities identified a man very similar to Gammino walking through the streets of Galapagar, a city near Madrid. Police confirmed it was the suspect thanks to the Facebook page “Cocina de Manu”, an Italian restaurant in the city of Galapagar. In some images published on the page you could see Gammino, who was working in this place posing as a chef named Manuel.

Gammino was arrested again on Dec. 17, according to a report published this week by Italian media. In its report, the Italian press mentions that the defendant simply could not believe that he had been found: “How did it happen? Not even my family has contacted me in the last 10 years,” he reportedly said.  

Italian authorities claim Gammino was part of a former organized crime group known as Stidda, based in Sicily. Gammino was convicted of murdering an alleged member of a rival gang in 1989. The mobster was imprisoned in 1998 and managed to get out of Rebibbia prison a couple years later, taking advantage of a film crew filming a scene in the prison premises.

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