Mirror scam in Messina. A 21-year-old Calabrian resident in Catania was arrested


By John

More and more frequently and at various latitudes, the news reports news of criminal episodes consisting of the so-called “mirror scam”. This is an expedient with which unscrupulous individuals, simulating having suffered a broken rear-view mirror due to someone else's incorrect driving manoeuvre, they demand immediate compensation from the unfortunate people, who are often spotted as women and the elderly. Grim looks and less than urban manners contribute to ensuring that the demand for “cash” sums, which is usually around one hundred euros, is accepted by the victims in order to quickly close the matter and everyone resume their own path.

The one described above can be defined as the “classic” hypothesis of the phenomenon. But a more complex, threatening and profitable variant has been identified which, after the usual simulation of the alleged accident, is followed by the seizure of purses, wallets and anything else that may be of value, which the “victim in question” leaves temporarily unattended inside your car.

This is what emerges from the results of an investigation by the state police, carried out under the directives of the Public Prosecutor's Office of Messina, which ended with the arrest of a young man, recognized as the perpetrator of three separate criminal episodes, perpetrated along the A/18 Messina-Catania and A/20 Messina-Palermo motorways between the months of November and January. Acting in complicity with another person, the young man “accosted” with his car the potential victim to whom he attributed the alleged collision: then, with decisive methods, he forced her to stop and, distracting her by contesting the alleged damage sustained, favored the action of the accomplice, quick to take possession of the personal effects present in the car. In two of the three episodes, the theft of as many purses was successful; in the third, the attempt to snatch the victim's cell phone from his hand was thwarted by his prompt reaction.

The analysis of the video surveillance footage allowed the men of the Messina Traffic Police to identify the car used by the perpetrators of the crime and, consequently, the identification of the driver: he is a twenty-one year old of Calabrian origins, domiciled in the province of Catania . The subsequent recognition made by the victims closed the circle of responsibility on the young man, against whom the GIP of the Court of the Peloritano capital recognized the seriousness of the circumstantial framework and issued the precautionary measure of house arrest with application of the electronic bracelet. The man was therefore arrested a few days ago: this is the same person who, together with an accomplice, was referred to the AG about a week ago by the Syracuse Traffic Police for an absolutely similar episode committed in that province.

Important news is given by the circumstance according to which, largely sharing the arguments put forward by the Prosecutor's Office, the GIP recognized in its provision the extremes of private violence in the coercive action with which one of the victims was stopped before being robbed. Element that triggered the charge of the crime of robbery for one of the three episodes (the second was contested as an attempted improper robbery and the third as theft with dexterity).

The above, for the purposes of exercising the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of the press and in compliance with the rights of the suspect who, in consideration of the current phase of the preliminary investigations, is to be presumed innocent until the irrevocable sentence which ascertains his responsibilities and with the clarification that the trial, which will take place in cross-examination with the parties and the defenses before a third and impartial judge, may also conclude with proof of the absence of any form of responsibility on the part of the suspect.