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Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Florence, Italy
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Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Police warning: article (in Italian only) published on Thursday, February 6th, into Florence page of the national newspaper "La Repubblica":

…repubblica.it/cronaca/…

Summary:

- Is reported an increase in complaints of thefts at the station S. M. Novella in Florence , compared to the same months of last year;

- The fact is explained - by the station staff and by the railway police - by the presence of organized groups of foreigners at the station (on the whole, about fifty people);

- However, these foreigners are EU citizens (Eastern Europe), so it's difficult to completely remove them

- It is also very difficult to catch them in the act of theft, as they act very quickly;

- Therefore, the railway police organized a streghtening of its patrols at the station.

- Travelers should contribute to safety action, by refusing - politely but firmly - the help of strangers, when they get on or off trains (in Florence, as in all Italian stations, there are no persons responsible for carrying luggage service, except if you book them, in some major stations);

- Travelers should politely but firmly refuse the help of strangers, when purchasing tickets at station's vending machines;

- Travelers in transit from Florence, during the stop in the station, should not leave their valuable belongings unattended at their seat, because the thieves, under the guise of helping passengers, board also the cars;

- A particular (but not the only!) target, are trains to and from Venice, known because the high density of inexperienced tourists;

For more details, you can translate the above article by google

Brun066

London, United...
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for Messina, Bratislava, London
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1. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

I can add my personal experience as I was victim of pickpockets about a month ago. My mobile was stolen on the bus number 23 to Stazione S.M. Novella, early afternoon. They took advantage of a few conditions: the bus was very crowdy, tired after working I was so naive to leave my mobile in an unzipped side pocket of my jacket, both my arms weren't close to my body. It was the ideal situation for them (I was surrounded by three foreigners, male, 50 something) and they managed to get my mobile. Luckily my wallet was as usual in the briefcase. I do not want to blame anybody in particular or scare people. For me, Florence is still a safe place, both for locals and tourists but in certain situations we have to be careful. It would have been enough to zip my pocket.

Florence Italy
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2. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Brun06, thank you so much for taking the time to post this.

We'd also add this caveat: take sensible precaution in any crowded piazza (Piazza del Duomo, especially), and be especially careful if on either the no. 7 or no. 10 bus.

Florence, Italy
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3. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Prego Artviva. I would add that the text I posted yesterday, is the summary not just of the newspaper's article you can read online, but also of another article published in the paper version of "La Repubblica" on the same day, and not available online.

"La Repubblica" on February 6th, in its Tuscan regional edition, devoted a whole page to this topic.

Brun066

Cambridgeshire...
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4. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Thank you for these warnings, it's always good to remind people not to become a bit complacent.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

allowing people without tickets onto the platform means that thieves can walk down the train grabbing purses, computers, small bags etc while people are putting their luggage in the overhead racks or occupied in settling in. if the authorities were serious about the outrageous behavior of these organized criminals, they would do what Spain does and screen people onto the platforms or else have ticket screeners at the door and not just allow anyone to roam up and down the aisles of the train when it is in station.

Castellina in...
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6. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

There's definitely been an increase. On the Frecciarossa from Bologna to Florence yesterday there was a gypsy girl begging. This is new - normally they don't board trains where they can't get off again within 15 mins. She surely had no ticket. When I arrived in Florence a different gypsy girl attempted the technique described in La Repubblica - offered to help me with my bags. Later I heard her talking Romanian with some other gypsies. So in essence this is a new and bolder group. I think the main new recommendation is, if possible, don't leave your bags in the storage space at the end of the carriage. That means try not to have very large suitcases.

Talking of no tickets. Not long ago, I got a special deal and sat in first class (that was good!) between Milan and Florence (the train to Naples). There was a bag woman there who, needless to say, had no ticket and was ordered off in Bologna. The ticket inspector then told me that she would nevertheless be in Rome or Naples by the end of the day since she would simply board the next train etc. Unfortunately, I guess it would currently be much too expensive to have a conductor at each door checking tickets, as they used to have on the old night trains.

Gold coast
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7. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

I saw this first hand yesterday . They hopped on the first class carriage , trying to help everybody . Then just as train was about to leave . The women grabbed 2 suitcases from the racks. My tip don't put your bags in those racks unless you are willing to stand by them till train leaves terminal . The guards did nothing . Italy needs to get serious and start checking people have tickets before letting anyone board

Turin
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8. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Is there an European railway company that checks tickets before letting people on board?

Years ago trenitalia put turnstiles before the tracks. Thieves just started buying one cheapest regional ticket valid for 60 days and nothing changed.

When you say "guards did nothing", do you mean policemen saw and did not do anything? Or what?

Florence, Italy
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9. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

Just to expand a bit - both the case histories and the discussion - to other towns and States:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g188045-i336-k7417…

Brun066

Edited: 14 May 2014, 18:22
Texas
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10. Re: Thefts at Florence station: police warning

I am so sorry for your misfortune. I will be traveling soon and with two suitcases; one large about 25 inch and the other smaller take on bag with my essentials as well as a small cross body purse.

I'm wondering if there is room on the train and also on any metro or buses to keep my possessions with me at all times, as well as how to hold these to make sure that I have adequately secured them to not be lifted.

Looking for a new smallish cross body purse that has flaps over zippers, any ideas? Brands?

I can purchase another carry on bag, I thought if the design was bright instead of dull black -would that attract more attention to steal or less desirable so that it couldn't' be stolen as discretely.

Any other websites that offer suggestions will be appreciated -I've read all that I can find, but the information is basic and common sense.

Thanks all!