Saturday, August 22, 2020

Thieves of Milan: Crime Does Not Pay in Milan (Sophisticated Milan Series 23)

Thieves of Milan
Crime Does Not Pay in Milan
Sophisticated Milan Series 23

Europe is my family’s
favorite yearly destination.

From what we heard from other tourists 
and from most travel books that we read,
we were aware that pickpockets are pretty
common in popular European tourists spots.

We have been to so many major cities
in Europe for the past two decades-

…and we never experienced
any form of these petty crimes,

…until we visited Milan.

They were everywhere.

1. The Con Man

On our second day in Milan, we were
victimized by a con- man on what is
legally called as Theft of Services.

A middle aged man posing as a photographer
offered to take our photos in Doumo for a fee.
It has been customary for our family to have
an official photograph of the places we visited.

We agreed as he appeared like a professional
photographer. He took photos of my family on
different areas and angles of the Piazza Doumo.

Without making us choose, he started printing
our photos. I interrupted him when I noted that
it appeared like he was printing everything.

He already printed a bundle of photos when
he stopped and billed us €150.When I protested
he started to bargain and when he sensed that
I am not paying, he finally settled for 50.,

I agreed. He gave me the photos and offered
to download the rest of photos on my i-phone.
I handed him my phone thinking it was an act of
goodwill. He demanded another 50 download fee.

I disagreed and asked for my phone back but had  no plan 
of returning it. I grabbed my phone and talked to a police officer
nearby who just advised that we had to be very careful next time.

2. Anonymous Pickpocket

On the same day, on our way back to the apartment ,
  I lost my wallet  on it to a pickpocket on a crowded train.

3. Organized Pickpockets

On our third day in Milan as group of
about 8 young women jostled us when ‘
we got into the train on Doumo subway.

They forcefully crammed on us and created a lot of noise and 
commotion for distraction. It was then that my wife discovered 
one of the lady’s hand in her bag, and two more ladies with 
their hands in each of the kids’ backpacks. When  confronted
 they quickly dispersed and got out on the next station.

I lost 50 fished out by the pickpocket from my belt
bag.  My wife and the two kids did not lose anything.

On our fifth and penultimate day we decided to
take a taxi as our main mode of transportation and
did not have any unpleasant encounter with thieves.

 4. Tandem Pickpockets

On our last day in Milan, 
while at the Milano Centrale.

…just as we thought we are already safe
at the business class cabin on a train that 
would take us to Venice, two well dressed
young ladies came by claiming our seats.

“You’re on the wrong seats” one of them
said while trying to remove our luggage
from the overhead baggage compartment.

I stood up and wrestled the luggage from her as
I was 100% sure that we are in the right place.
It turned out that she created a commotion to
distract our attention from her companion who
got herself busy picking my wife’s bag, and
managed to unzip my belt bag when we caught her.

When we confronted them that they’re stealing
from us- they apologized that they made a mistake
and they are supposed to on the next cabin. They
quickly left and swiftly hopped out of the train.

The train shortly left and luckily they
weren’t able to steal anything from us.

We experienced various forms of thievery for
four consecutive days of our 5- day stay in Milan.

Indeed- when it rains, it pours.
Be very extra- careful in Milan.

Read my other Milan Series

Sophisticated Milan Series 24

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