Thieves rob supermarket in front of police

Two men have been arrested after robbing a supermarket in southern Italy, only to discover the hold-up coincided with the patrol of an anti-theft police squad.

Thieves rob supermarket in front of police
Police charged into the supermarket just as the thieves were making their getaway. Screenshot: LiveNetwork Portali/Carabinieri Bari/YouTube

Giovanni Schiavone, 30, and 31-year-old Antonio Costanzo were arrested seconds after robbing the supermarket in the Modugno area of Bari on Friday, Ansa reported.

A police video published on Tuesday shows the two running across the street, with one pulling out a pistol as he enters the supermarket.

Unbeknown to the thieves, an anti-theft police patrol was outside the store at the time.

The officers’ suspicions were aroused after spotting the two men rush into the supermarket dressed in motorcycle helmets, La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno said.

Police charged into the supermarket just as the thieves were making their getaway, pinning the robbers to the floor.

It took less than a minute for other officers to arrive, one passing handcuffs to his colleague which were promptly put to use.

Police recovered around €300 stolen from the supermarket till and the gun, which La Gazzetta said turned out to be a blank pistol. The two thieves were arrested and taken to the local police station.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.