Burglar Burglar

I can’t say it any better than my father did, via e-mail, so I won’t attempt to. Here is the e-mail my father sent me what should be unbelievable recap of events transpired in Rome, Italy , where my family currently lives. Enjoy?

Hi Michael,

Thanks for your e-mail. We are doing well. As mentioned earlier, we were robbed when we were gone for three days after Christmas and got home and could not get in since the robbers had locked it from inside. Our apartment was a disaster zone and we lost quite a bit, especially given they must climb up on pole and railings to 3rd floor and take stuff down the same way since could not get out the door.  They used our garden hose to tie and lower the TV and threw some into a field, etc.

Ten days later we had a surreal evening when we saw 6 masked robbers in the act of robbing the 4th floor apartment above us at 7:30 PM by 2 of them scaling up 40 feet to break in. At the precise time in the evening we were discussing a security system installation after our recent break-in and when I opened our patio shutters I surprised them in the act and they went escaping down. I temporarily grabbed one’s leg for a few minutes and some of them on the ground threw rocks at me and he kicked and pushed and jumped down with a thud, likely injured. We then realized we had another one temporarily trapped in the above apartment as we did not allow him to come down despite the rocks, glass and ceramics being thrown at us (the security guy and I used two wooden folding chairs as shields.) However, he got down before the police came by breaking out of the above apartment through another patio and using a sheet to shimmy down to our floor and then also jumped, also likely hurt. The robbers on the ground were frantic we would “win” and the police would arrive before he got down so they were doing whatever they could.

So another police report, another firemen rescue to open their door (again locked from inside by robbers) from scaling down from 5th floor on special ladder.  At least now our apartment owner agrees there may be a security problem. Atlanta has the same issues but thankful European robbers are not armed (just acrobatic gypsies in this case – they were speaking Rumanian.) Unlike America, Rome is safe from guns and violence but now less so from theft, especially when living beside a nature reserve in Rome.

The miracle in this is in the timing of our inviting a security specialist to do an inspection at that precise time and then my opening the patio blinds and turning on the light at the exact second the one robber was coming down past our patio and mom, looking that direction as I raised the blinds, yelled — “it’s them, the robbers.”  Also, it was the night before I had scheduled a meeting with our apartment owner to discuss security after our break-in since he had been vehement in refusing to do anything, saying it was our fault. It totally changed his outlook and response.

Oh, when I was grabbing the one robber he said “Ho fame” meaning I’m hungry. It gives more validation to the need for the work our Italian church does with refugees here in Rome.


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