August 5, 2009

Thief thanks cops for rescuing him

Thankful ... an Italian thief was beaten by tae-kwondo trained Korean tourists who he had just robbed before he was saved by police. Pic: Reuters

from corresondents in Rome, Italy Agence France-Presse
August 04, 2009 09:42am

AN Italian thief thanked police officers for arresting him and putting an end to a beating from Korean tourists whom he had robbed in Rome, police say.

"I must thank you; they were massacring me,'' the 48-year-old criminal told police after he was arrested near the Theatre of Marcellus, one of the monuments in Rome's historic centre.

The thief, from the northern region of Liguria, stole a handbag from a Korean family when they were not paying attention.

He threatened the family with a knife when he was spotted and then tried to flee.

Two men from the family, in their 20s, chased him for several hundred metres before they got him down with tae-kwondo moves.

They disarmed the thief and continued to beat him.

A patrolling police officer intervened, separated the three and arrested the thief.

"Normally tourists will just call us and report the incidents,'' the officer said.

"In this case, the two got really excited and could have seriously injured the thief.''

The young Koreans left after they got the handbag back. The thief was transferred to a prison in Rome and will face robbery charges.

Source :,28318,25879841-5014090,00.html