Sale of a vintage vinyl LP leads to arrest of fugitive after 25 years on the run
Fleeing from a 20-year prison sentence the now 69-year-old has been arrested
After 25 years on the run Italian fugitive, Robert Vivaldi has been arrested after police caught his fingerprints on a vinyl LP of iconic 60s track ‘Girl From Ipanema’.
In 1997, Vivaldi fled Italy after receiving a 20-year prison sentence for a list of financial offences, which included fraudulent bankruptcy and money laundering.
As a wanted criminal Vivaldi, who is now 69 years old, had reportedly been running a vintage record shop on the island of Isla de Margarita in Venezuela which sales grew during the pandemic, the same time the police reopened his case.
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Police eventually found his social media profiles of him selling records online. Interpol officers created a false identity to place an order for some LPs including a rare copy of ‘Girl From Ipanema’.
Once the police received their copy of the bossa nova jazz classic, they found it covered in Vivaldi’s fingerprints.
“We checked the social media accounts of his family, friends and known associates and, using software, found some were in touch with a profile based in Venezuela,” told chief Alessandro Gallo to The Times.
“They were all very careful when communicating with this profile, until an old friend of Vivaldi’s sent birthday greetings on a day which did not coincide with the date of birth listed on the profile.”
He continued: “When the records arrived in Italy we dusted the covers for fingerprints and found what we wanted — some of the prints matched Vivaldi’s. To get Venezuela to arrest him we needed more than prints, and since he was only selling online we still needed an address.”
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Still posing as record collectors, the police officers built an online friendship with Vivaldi before arranging to meet him in person.
“When Vivaldi showed up at the restaurant for an appointment he discovered the Venezuelan police were waiting for him,” added Gallo.
The fugitive has now been extradited to Italy where he will serve his sentence.
[Via: The Times]
Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter