The Island of Capraia is the setting of one of the most recent and mysterious theft investigations in Italy.The island is part of the Tuscan Archipelago, just off of the West coast of Italy, and is home to 4.000 people during the tourist season. The locals form a close-knit community, fit with its own fishing businesses, schools, and nightlife. Every islander knows his neighbour and his neighbour’s family.
It was an island where one could leave his house without feeling the need to lock his front door. Since a string of large-scale robberies has occurred throughout the Winter months, the innocence of every inhabitant has come into question.
The Wolf of CapraiaThe robber, who Il Tirreno calls "The Wolf of Capraia who steals from friends," has taken thousands of euros, jewellery, and valuable goods from workers, business owners, and the deputy mayor. Once a peaceful oasis of Italy, Capraia is now in the middle of an all-too-real crime novel. Cold weather and the threat of Covid have left the island without tourism and only about 200 local inhabitants. All evidence suggests that the thief lives on the island, since he seems to have a good understanding of the geography and even of the interior of the targeted buildings.
A local suspectA local suspect is a great threat because the islanders keep their money in cash; the last Capraian bank closed about a year ago and the island houses only one ATM. If one needs to visit a bank, he has to sail to the mainland Livorno. Inhabitants keep their savings in their homes and businesses, often in large sums.
The criminal has stolen not only cash, but entire locked safes. The most recent and jarring robbery took place at the tobacconist called "Il Cantuccio." It doubles as bar, where customers can have a coffee while reading the newspaper in the morning and a drink while playing cards in the evening. It is a cornerstone of the community.
The MayorAnyone on the island could become victim to these mysterious thefts. Deputy Mayor Fabio Mazzei was robbed in November 2020, when he was off the island visiting Pisa. He claimed that the robber is someone who knew his schedule and he accused him of waiting for his departure.
The suspect is not stealing from tourists, or unknown neighbours in a large city. They are stealing from their friends.
The three carabinieri on the island are working hard to survey the area and solve the case. Marida Bessi, mayor and president of the Livorno province has put it at the forefront of her priorities.
The islanders want the return of their precious ownings, but also the return of the safe and comfortable hug of Capraia that they once knew.