Thursday, 21 April 2011

Carjacked Honeymoon

I guess most of you already know what happened to us in brief. I thought it would be a good opportunity to write down the current situation as it's too long for a facebook status.

Anyway, this is what happened. We arrived in Naples on April 18 in the evening, about 20:35. We picked up the hire car, a basic Fiat Panda without SatNav. It took us 90minutes and I had to get an overdraft extension just to be able to pay for the excess which hadn't been specified on the form. And then we started to try and navigate our way out of Naples in dark.

Except it just wasn't easy at all - the main highway to the A3 which would take us to Sorento was blocked so we ended up going round half of Naples and in and out of the airport for thirty minutes before we found a street which sign posted a turning for the autostrada.

While we were trying to figure out whether the turning would take us in the right direction a motorbike pulled up on our left; the back passenger got off and came up to the car. I can't remember too clearly what happened next as it was a bit of a blur. The guy was gesticulating and shouting and when I expressed my confusion I saw he had pulled out a pistol and cocked it into position (by pulling the top section back, it was an automatic).

I got out of the car and wandered over to the other side of the motorbike; I saw the other guy get in as Helen got out and the first guy started pointing at my wedding ring (a fairtrade gold ring, one of the first that could be bought that way) and when I refused put his hand in his pocket to pull out a gun...

but before he could do anything a car appeared round the corner and they both sped off, leaving us without our car, clothes, money, cards, Kindle, passports etc. They took everything except the clothes we were standing in; our rings and mobile phones, only one of which had any power.

So then we spent the rest of the night stuck with the police. The incident took place just outside a house, and the occupants let us in after they saw Helen calling for help. With the help of Yahoo Babelfish we were able to explain something of what happened; they called the police (5 officers arrived); and after 90minutes where precious few details were taken we went to the main police station to take down a statement, but just ended up waiting so long we were then escorted to a hotel for the night (pre-paid for by Helen's friend Mary), where eventually the hotel managers let us in (they wanted to see our documents... which of course we didn't have).

Mostly we've been spending the rest of the honeymoon trying to get enough things into place, but it's all so terribly involved. It took a whole morning to get a fairly simple statement down. We now have some changes of clothes, a temporary passport and a little money and we've spent 2 nights in our hotel. We have yet to sort out what happened to the car and other things it's probably not best to go into details with on this blog.

However, we are completely unhurt, we must emphasize that. Many people have been very helpful, we'd like to thank the British Consulate in Naples for their extended help along with the kind support of the staff at our hotel as well as other sympathetic individuals. Thanks for all the support from all our friends, I hope this blog helps you know where we're up to.

Much love from julz and Helen