Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Puglian Bicycle Thief

Last week was busy at work so I had no time to blog. This weekend we were in Puglia for the last visit of the year so I had no technology to blog. The works progress slowly but steadily, with the emphasis more on the slow than the steady.

The excitement of the weekend was catching a bicycle thief red-handed. Between visits everything is put away indoors and securely locked up but while we were there I put the bikes out in the Lamia chained together.

On Saturday night I heard noises and, given we are near the end of a secluded, dead-end dirt track, I went out to investigate. There was a bloke struggling with two bikes and heavy-duty bolt cutters trying to get them out the Lamia door. He appeared to speak no English but body language is pretty international. Mine was unambiguous as I grabbed him, shoved him up against the wall, stuck my nose millimeters from his and said rude words at loud volume.

He seemed pretty scared and engaged the gibbering coward circuits as he made for his van. Mary came out and joined us for more shouting of the limited vocabulary variety including the Italian for "thief" and "police tomorrow". We took a note of his van number and a photograph which sent his craven cringing into overdrive as we let him go. The flash flashed but unfortunately the camera battery was so flat we got no usable image. However he doesn't know that and hopefully has slept very badly the last couple of nights.


Ballpoint Wren said...

Wow, it's good you caught him before he made off with the bikes.

Otherwise, what's crime like in Puglia? Will you have to worry about your place getting vandalized while you're gone?

Mark McLellan said...

Southern Italy has always been the poor half on the country and consequently higher crime rates. Certainly the local are very keen on security. We, like most houses round, us have steel doors and steel shutters on all the windows.

Before they were installed we did have a number of items stolen, nothing valuable.

Most houses also have guard dogs, "Attente il Cane" say the signs. The German Shepherd (aka Alsatian) being a particular favourite. Every night the dog chorus echoes across the valley.