A Purse-Snatcher's Worse Nightmare?
Reuters - June 4 2001


ROME (Reuters) - Being caught and surrounded by an entire rugby team may just be one of a purse-snatcher's worst nightmares.

And yet, it happened for real to a man who snatched a woman's purse in the northern Italian city of Bologna.

The snatching happened close to a hotel where Serie A teams Benetton Treviso and Fly Flot Cavisano were about to hold a news conference. The pickpocket was spotted by two Benetton team members who ran after him, Italy's Rugby Federation said in a statement.

The two -- Andrea Gritti and Massimiliano Perziano -- are both full internationals. Lock forward Gritti is two meters tall (6' 6") and weighs an imposing 107 kg (236 lbs.) while winger Perziano is one of the quickest players in the country.

The purse-snatcher, followed by the two players, sought refuge in a kindergarten, which was quickly surrounded by the whole Benetton team. The man was arrested a few minutes later by police.

Benetton Treviso and Fly Flot Cavisano are due to play the decisive game for the Serie A championship title on Saturday.