Koutsavakides were often involved in crime: prostitution, hashish trafficking, petty thefts. They also acted as bouncers in gambling establishments and were even hired for protection during political rallies and campaigns.
They wore their jackets only half-way (putting on one sleeve and leaving the other to dangle free) to make it easier for them to throw it off in the event of a fight. They also wore long belts, reaching to the ground, as a challenge to anyone to step on it and start a fight.
Koutsavakides were hunted down, arrested and eradicated by Athens Police Chief Dimitrios Bairaktaris in the waning years of the 19th Century. Earlier, in 1896, Bairaktaris had used them - appealing to their patriotism - to patrol suspicious foreigners during the First modern Olympiad. The trick worked as, despite the influx of foreigners, not a single theft was reported during the Olympic Games.