HAVANA TIMES — Emma Scopes has asked to share her experience of being robbed in Cuba with HT readers. The potentially dangerous event and loss of personal belongings had a happy ending.
“I traveled to Cuba in December 2013 as part an organized group touring the island for 2 weeks. Unfortunately during my first day in Havana (after having flown into Cuba the day before), I had my hand bag snatched while walking down the Prado promenade in Old Havana.
“Despite being dragged to the ground and holding on for dear life for what felt like forever but was probably only a matter of seconds, the man managed to run off with my bag. However, I don’t look on this event unfavorably – quite the reverse in fact for what happened next.
“At least two men who had seen it happen ran after the perpetrator. Many local Cubans by this time had gathered around me and my two friends who were with me at the time to show support and check if I was ok.
“After only a few minutes there must have been at least 50 people (all local Cubans) surrounding me, showing concern. One lady even came up to me to give me a hug!
“Fortunately the police were able to catch the man who took my bag and return my possessions. By the time the police returned with the perpetrator in hand cuffs, the crowd gathered seemed ready to lynch the man!
“I could not have asked for more support at this time and truly feel overwhelmed at the love and concern from the local people who witnessed this event. The efficiency of the police was also truly astounding.
“I’d like to use this forum to reach out to both the police and the local people who helped during my time of need and thank them from the bottom of my heart. The community spirit shown by everyone involved that afternoon was fantastic; I couldn’t have asked for more support, I was totally blown away by it all.
“So a huge ‘thank you’ to the police and to the crowd that formed around me, especially to the people who chased after and caught the man and to the lady who gave me a much needed hug. I think the cheer that went up when the police presented the captured perpetrator to me said it all.”