«I was stopped at the red light, my family was in the car with me. I heard two bangs against the window that didn’t break because it’s armored. I turned abruptly and saw two men in black full-face helmets aboard a scooter. One was pointing the barrel of his gun at me: so I understood that it was fake». Another name, another victim of the Rolex gang: Alessio Cerci, former forward for the national team and for Roma (until 2010). On Wednesday, around 11pm, the bomber ended up in the crosshairs of one of the gangs of luxury watch robbers who are carrying out a barrage of robberies in the capital. An escalation of robberies as reported by the Messenger last Saturday. The footballer was returning from the Olympic stadium where the final of the Italian Cup, Inter-Fiorentina, had just been played. After the numb shot, the bandits followed Cerci for a few kilometers between the Trastevere and Portuense districts before fleeing. The Anti-robbery section of the Mobile team is now investigating the case.
Alessio Cerci, what do you remember of the attack on your SUV?
“I remember everything from the initial moments. In a few moments I ended up in a nightmare. I was thinking only of my wife and my son who were with me. We were stopped at the traffic light, there were cars both in front of me and behind. At one point I heard two bangs against the window, then I saw the weapon. I noticed the red cap and I guessed it was fake».
At that point did he put it in gear and run away?
“The glass didn’t break because it’s armored. I put it into gear sure, but the road was busy and I started to overtake the cars in front of me. From the mirror, however, I saw that the two robbers were still following me. I pushed the accelerator again and burned a few lights. Meanwhile my wife called the police, the agents were on the phone with us while I tried to leave the bandits behind».
Instead they continued to follow her…
“Yes. They followed us for several kilometers while my wife gave me directions from the police. They were coordinating us to intercept us. I was just thinking about driving, losing them. But the scooter was always there, just a few meters from us».
Did you have any doubts that it was a fake gun?
“I clearly saw the red cap on the toy guns. I reacted instinctively at that moment so as not to endanger my family and not suffer the theft. These are situations where you don’t have much time to realize what’s happening. I repeat: the priority was to secure my son and my wife ».
Then a long chase – what did he do after that?
«At the Portuense the two bandits disappeared, there was no one left in the wake of the SUV. Ahead of us was a police patrol instead. I deduced that the robbers had also seen it and that for this reason they had decided to abandon the coup».
Then what happened?
“The police escorted us home to EUR. We were all shocked and still are. My son has never stopped crying, he is a child and it will be difficult to get him over the trauma. Same for my wife and I. Also because the band went without fail, the plan was studied ».
“I was wearing a gold Rolex that night. So they must have aimed at me, even though my family and a small child were with me, they had no qualms ».
His fear is therefore that he has been followed…
“Yes, and that I didn’t notice. I don’t know if at the exit of the stadium, at the end of the game. Or even before. I didn’t notice anything until it was too late. They certainly knew what I was wearing and that I had a Rolex on my wrist. That’s why it wasn’t an impromptu heist and they’re experienced bandits. At my reaction, in fact, they didn’t back down. On the contrary: they chased me for several kilometers and, in my opinion, only ran away when they saw that there was a police patrol. This means that if I had stopped with the car, they would have tried again to rob me of my watch and who knows what else…».
Did you notice details useful for the investigation?
“I saw clearly that they were on a black moped. They wore a black helmet, without any identifying details. Neither of them ever lifted their visors. I know that there are other investigations underway, that a few hours earlier another similar heist had been carried out and also in that case the gang used a black scooter. Now, together with my family, we just want to forget what happened. My wife and I are focusing on our little boy who has been through a nightmare and suffered major trauma.”
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on Il Mattino