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Thief sees himself as Robin Hood-like bandit

Sporting a wig and a false beard, Spain's most wanted thief says he robs banks because they steal from public.

world Updated: Aug 13, 2007 16:11 IST

Spain's most wanted thief, 'The Loner,' saw himself as a Robin Hood-style figure and said he robbed banks only because they stole from the public, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Accused of killing three policemen and holding up more than 30 banks, Jaime Jimenez Arbe was planning to move on to insurance companies when he was arrested last month, Spanish media reported, citing lawyer Jose Mariano Trillo-Figueroa.

"I am not a killer and if I was obliged to shoot at officers of the law, it was always against my will and in order to avoid being arrested," Jimenez said in a letter reproduced on the websites of newspapers El Pais and El Mundo.

Trillo-Figueroa said Jimenez, who robbed the banks disguised in a false beard and a wig, thinks of himself as Curro Jimenez, a Spanish 1970s television bandit in the style of Robin Hood.

The Loner was arrested in Portugal, armed with a submachinegun in preparation for another bank robbery.

Citing police, Spanish media reported he kept the money he stole, depositing it in several different bank accounts.