This post has been updated to make it more accurate – Alex Roe, 22.02.1008.
I was rather worried to learn from the guy I work with that he had been mugged a couple of weeks back.
As if mugging in any circumstances were not bad enough, this case is worse. You see, this guy was attacked in the centre of Milan in the Duomo underground stop, on a Sunday, and while he was with his little daughter.
Apparently, while he was getting on a train, he was brought down rugby style, and then held down while an accomplice stole his wallet from his back pocket.
As you do after such an event, you head off to the nearest police station to report the miscreants. And as he arrived at the police station, my friend found himself in the midst of a whole group of people who had also been victims of what was a well organised and executed mass mugging.
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.
The other victims were a mixture of foreigners and Italians alike, and many had lost money, credit cards, and important personal documents. The muggers, and there were five or six, my friend told met, were in their mid-thirties and may have been Italian.
In view of the brazen nature of these attacks, it should have been possible for the police to have caught up with the criminals. No such luck.
My friend suggested that the police use the CCTV system to identify the perpetrators, but was surprised to discover that the underground station video surveillance cameras were not working on the day of this rash of nasty attacks. Great, not.
In view of this potential problem, and I don’t know if action has been taken, it would be a good idea to carry two wallets if you venture into the centre of Milan via the underground railway system, the yellow line, at the moment. Put one in your back pocket, in which you can put 10 Euros or so, and hide the other in a less obvious place. Then, in the event of a mugging, at least the thieves would think they had got what they were after.
On no account try to remonstrate with these interesting gentlemen. Unless you are Rambo, you will most likely come off very badly.
Just watch you back, and keep your eyes open for signs of unwanted attention down in the underground stations, and, if something does raise your suspicions, keep your wits about you.