MUGGED IN PRAGUE

We were having a short break in Prague early in the year and had come down from a visit to the Castle on our second day and made for the Malestranske Metro. On the platform I noticed a boisterous group of men and made to ensure that we did not get into the same carriage. However, before the doors closed they had somehow shifted to our carriage and were pushing and shoving in an unpleasant manner. They filled the doorway behind me and, as the train began to move, the jostling and shouting was quickly shifted as they surrounded me and I realised at once that I was their target. With my elbows and shoulders I made to break out from the encircling mayhem and saw some affronted looks from faces I later realised were accomplices. I heard Ursula shout out, ‘Bill’, as she often does when she thinks I am creating a public affray but, by this time, I was almost on the floor with my hands protecting the pockets of my outer coat in which was a camera, my glasses, tickets, etc. I thought the contents of my body belt under all the layers of clothing would be safe.

The shouting and scuffling stopped and I stood up; a man with a brief case stood opposite me, quite close and I realised that an attempt had been made to rob me and, at the same time, believed it had failed. I thought that the man with the brief case standing squarely before me was one of the gang; his objective to see that I did not begin to check the contents of my body bag. The thought never entered my head as I was convinced no one could have got to it.. Everyone, the gang members and I, stared ahead.

At the next stop the members of the gang got off the train; 5, 6, 7 of them; it was difficult to say. A Czech woman  sitting next to Ursula began to explain; everyone in the carriage had known what was going on. One of the gang had even taken Ursula’s arm during the melee and guided her to a seat to avoid trouble.

I felt triumphant at having seen them off but was to discover later when I undressed that night for bed,  that the £150 in my body belt was gone but the Passport was still there. The following morning I made a statement at the local police station and have a copy of their report in Czech. It would be interesting to know if the two reports agree.

FEBRUARY2003