A friend of ours fell victim to the wandering Rom boys yesterday. She lost her purse and fifty Euros. Luckily there was no important documentation in the purse at the time.
The Rom boys, generally from one of the Gypsy camps on the outskirts of Milan, often hunt in packs and pick on women and anyone else who they think won’t resist. They are a nuisance more than anything else and tend to ‘target’ particular areas of Milan one at a time, almost as if they were following some kind of petty theft business plan.
These packs of thieves are often busy around Milan’s main railway stations, especially Stazione Centrale, as I noted in my Watch It! post last year.
Stop reading, start speaking
Stop translating in your head and start speaking Italian for real with the only audio course that prompt you to speak.
There seems to be something of a rash of similar incidents at the moment too, and another more recent incident was reported in my Mugging in Milan post. Personally, I’ve lost a bicycle and a briefcase here. And I keep hearing about people losing wallets all the time, and more often than not they are Italians.
Many Italian women keep their handbags over their shoulders and away from the street side of the sidewalk/pavement. This is to avoid the attentions of the scallywags on scooters who have a penchant for pinching handbags.
Mobile phones have also been known to be wrenched from the hands of users here.
Milan is generally pretty safe, and even though it has many more police in evidence than most places in the UK, it pays to be wary.