Naples, Italy—Mario is not only intelligently fluent in English and Italian–he is interested in the conversation. He excavates the essence when Officer DC expounds on the legality of the pacco biz. Apparently, the victim has to “denounce,” or make a complaint against, the seller, but the victim can be denounced, too, for buying from a thief. And in the end, the judge will toss it out because he has many bigger crimes to deal with. But wait—that’s another story.
I mention that we had seen Luciano and his brother Angelo working the trams in the morning. DC sort of snorts. Simple pickpockets. Too small fish for him to be concerned with.
No wonder the thieves are thick in Naples.
We are lucky that DC is at our disposal today. He has just returned from a three-month course in Rome where he qualified as a machine gun instructor. He and his girlfriend were nearby when we called his cell phone. They hurried over to meet us. On a small player, we showed him some of last year’s video of local thieves, including Nuncio, the white-haired “businessman” from whom Bob lifted a tie.
“White hair means experience,” DC said.
Strange then, that he didn’t recognize this experienced Napolitano pickpocket.
DC will be 33 in October. He and his girlfriend plan to go to Las Vegas then to get married. First, he laughs, he will study English. Like most Napolitanos, they know little.
“You still haven’t told me how they steal the watch off your right wrist when you’re driving,” DC says.
Since he’d dropped it, I hadn’t realized that he actually had an answer.
“When you put your left hand out to fix the mirror, they burn it with a cigarette,” he said.