Thefts Surge in Italian City Under Coronavirus Quarantine


The Italian city of Palermo has seen a surge in thefts and robberies since the nationwide quarantine enacted by the government, with businesses and schools targeted.

Most business in the city, along with other buildings such as schools and public offices, remain closed due to Italy’s nationwide lockdown that is meant to stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.

While businesses have largely ceased operations, thieves in the city have not, with newspaper Il Giornale claiming that in the last few days, several reports of thefts have occurred at a school, a gym, and even a local hospital.

The first theft took place on Monday night at a local school and saw the thieves steal five computers after scaling the fence to the property, while another robbery took place at an industrial area nearby with goods worth around €5,000 taken.

At a local gym, thieves stole four 55-inch television screens along with protein supplements with an estimated value of €3,000.

The University Hospital Policlinico Paolo Giaccone has also been repeatedly targeted by thieves, seeing three thefts in just three days. Criminals have stolen from hospital vending machines and ransacked the changing rooms of local doctors and nurses.

The Italian medical system has been under enormous strain since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, with one doctor claiming that the conditions were similar to a war situation as doctors with limited resources had to choose who to help and who to leave to die.

Giorgio Gori, the mayor of the city of Bergamo, said earlier this week that his city’s resources were pushed so far that they were unable to keep up with the number of cremations of those dying from the virus.

On Thursday, Italy surpassed China, where the virus originated, for the highest number of deaths related to the coronavirus.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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