Think twice before leaving your car with one of the many street car-parking attendants in the centre of Rome. You may return to find no attendant and no car. Two men were stopped by the police early in February in the area of the Campo de' Fiori, both driving expensive cars which had been left with them by their owners. In the past months more than 50 vehicles have been reported stolen in the same area by people who have left their cars and car keys with these, or similar, false parking attendants. It is believed that the cars are handed on to a third person, hidden and later sold at impromptu auctions sales held at a nomad encampment on the outskirts of the city. It was not even possible to arrest the two men concerned; they had after all been entrusted with the car and the keys.

Insurance companies are unwilling to pay for cars stolen in this way, so read the small print on your policy or, safer still, park your car yourself.