Sunday, November 4, 2012

Pickpocket in Rome

Tim:   My parents, Amber and I were making our way back to our lodging at Seven Hills Village on the outskirts of Rome. We had just gotten of the Metro Line A at Valle Aurale and we were making our way to the FR1 train station for the 25 minute train ride north of the city. As we were walking into the FR1 station we had to hike up several flights of stairs because the escalators were broken or not operating at the time. We had done quite a bit of walking that day, and we were all tired. We were walking up the stairs; I was in the lead with Amber behind me followed by my dad, then my mother. I was about two thirds of the way up the stairs when I heard my dad yell in a strained voice, "Hey, you get your hand out of that lady's purse!" It took a few seconds to register what he was saying as I had not seen anything. No one else seemed to be paying any attention. I looked to my side and understood what was going on. A small man in his mid-twenties was now standing on the stairs with a map of Rome unfolded and held up near his face. He was rigid and not making eye contact. We didn't know what to do. I thought about punching him in the face, but decided against that. My dad had seen the perpetrator slyly lift up the unclipped flap of a middle aged Italian women's purse. He had tried twice to view the contents for anything valuable. When my dad called him out he just stood in the middle of the stairs hoping no one would notice. The lady who had almost gotten pick-pocketed did not speak English and did not know what was going on at first until another Italian told her such.
      All I did was call him, "a piece of sh#t" and we all continued up the stairs to the train platform. We had heard about pick-pockets and there were occasional signs warning people to watch their personal belongings, but it was a different experience viewing a pick-pocket in the act.
See photos of our time in Rome at our facebook album.

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