Italy Gripped by Wave of Hypnotic Crime
Hypnotist Gives New Meaning to Phrase “Italian Job”
At times, checkout counters can have a hypnotic effect on us. There’s a rack of tabloid gossip rags shouting in our faces. The dissonant screams and bellows of kids that create waveforms that turn our minds inside-out. There’s the elderly lady in front of the line who’s trying to haggle the cashier over a dented soup tin and the scary revelation of just how many types of gum there are. No wonder our brains try to take us away from the horror of it all.
To wit, a customer in Italy is trying to further enhance the otherworldly checkout experience for his own fun and profit. Closed Circuit Television footage taken from a supermarket and a bank in Italy’s Marche region have shown a patron placing tellers into a suggestive hypnotic state and defrauding them of hundreds of Euros each. So effective was the trance that many of the employees didn’t realize what had happened until they were ready to count their tills at the end of their shifts.
Police in Ancona province, on the eastern Adriatic coast describe the suspect as being a well-dressed, bearded man in his 40s who appears to be of Indian, Pakistani or North African extraction. Some cameras showed a woman who appeared to distract some customers in queue while the suspect did his thing. Once in the hypnotic clutches of the dapper con man, the clerks seemed to move more slowly and with little concern for anything but his commands, which included handing over thousands of dollars in extra change. In each incident, the last thing the unsuspecting service industry denizens remembered before being robbed was the suspect leaning toward them and saying “Look into my eyes”. Seriously!
La polizia might wanna question this guy: