Italian mafia boss known as 'Mamma' is found hiding in a secret bunker behind his WARDROBE after being on the run from police for five years
- Antonio Pelle, 54, crawled out of his hiding place on his stomach
- He had built a home bunker between the bathroom and his son's bedroom
- The wardrobe shielded the bunker at his home in Reggio Calabria, Italy
- He was on the run after escaping hospital while locked up for 20 years
- Was serving a sentence for mafia association, arms and drug trafficking
One of Italy's most-wanted fugitive mob bosses was arrested after five years on the run on Wednesday, when police found him hiding behind a wardrobe 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 a wardrobe that had shielded the bunker at his home in southern Reggio Calabria.
Video of his surrender showed at least two dozen police surrounding the wardrobe waiting for him to emerge.
After being coaxed down from the wardrobe, he stepped onto a waiting ladder and into the arms of the officers before being patted down for weapons.
Pelle, known as 'Mamma,' was serving a 20-year prison sentence for mafia association, arms and drug trafficking when he slipped out of a hospital in the town of Locri in September 2011.
Mob boss Antonio Pelle comes out of the closet to surrender himself after five years on the run, in Reggio Calabria, Italy, on Wednesday
He had been taken to the hospital to be treated for anorexia, Italian news reports said.
The police video shows the tiny bunker he has been hiding out in. It features little more than a cushion, a plastic fan, empty Coca-Cola bottles and a wad of euros.
Pelle, who was on the Interior Ministry's list of most dangerous mob fugitives, is considered the boss of the Pelle-Romeo clan of San Luca, in Italy's southern Calabria region.
The clan's long-running feud with the rival Nirta-Strangio family erupted in a bloody vendetta in Germany in 2007, when a gangland massacre at an Italian restaurant left six people dead.
Pelle peered over the top of the wardrobe as he made his way out of the secret bunker built between his home's bathroom and his son's bedroom
Pelle is considered the boss of the Pelle-Romeo clan, whose long-running feud with the Nirta-Strangio family erupted in a bloody vendetta in Germany in 2007
Video of his surrender showed at least two dozen police surrounding the wardrobe waiting for him to emerge
The carnage drew international attention to the reach of Calabria's 'ndrangheta mob, which is today considered more powerful than the Sicilian Mafia and has become one of the world's biggest cocaine traffickers.
The Reggio Calabria police chief, Raffaele Grassi, said Pelle was the last of the 'strategic protagonists' of the long-running San Luca feud.
'With his capture and the trials underway, each piece of the mosaic has been put in place,' the ANSA news agency quoted Grassi as saying at a press conference announcing the arrest.
The San Luca feud cooled between 2000 and 2006, but erupted again when Maria Strangio, the wife of one of the presumed heads of the Strangio clan, was killed on Dec. 25, 2006.
The retaliatory massacre in Duisburg, Germany marked the first known time the 'ndrangheta exported a vendetta.
Pelle has been among the top 10 most-wanted fugitives since disappearing from a hospital where he was being treated for anorexia in 2011
The mob boss gave up his fight after five years on the run and was led away by police on Wednesday
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