On the hill overlooking the sea between Montesilvano And Pescara the place, secluded and panoramic, has always protected the privacy of the most prominent families. On Monday evening he also allowed a commando of at least five bandits, including a woman, to act undisturbed by unexpectedly falling into the residence of Saturino DeCeccoheir to the Abruzzo pasta dynasty, after taking his wife hostage Sheila D’Isidori and her 8-year-old daughter, who at around 9.15 pm were returning by car to the big one villa with swimming pool, helipad and a vast park of palm trees, pittosporums and Mediterranean scrub.
And above all, many, many cameras from which the carabinieri are now awaiting decisive help to direct the investigation into the robbery violence that only due to the cold blood of the victims was not resolved in a dramatic way. It all lasted exactly forty minutes. Until an accomplice of the bandits, who remained outside the villa as a cover, moved and activated one of the perimeter sensors, or hit a camera, triggering the alarm and forcing the commando to flee aboard an Audi which supposed stolen in the previous days. A time that seemed endless to the victims of the robbery, and that gave the bandits the opportunity to have the safe opened and an unspecified number of very expensive watches, precious objects, other valuables and even a regularly held pistol taken.
De Cecco, the house robbery
«A traumatic moment – says the industrialist, main shareholder of the family company from whose board he resigned three years ago, the day after -, when they break into your house with violence and kidnap your family, it’s serious, you have to keep calm , follow directions, be as accommodating as possible, which is what I then did. They beat me for fear, while my wife and daughter were locked in the kitchen and I was unaware of their condition. I was very calm and careful to avoid reactions, luckily it went well, in hindsight».
Entrepreneur Saturnino De Cecco: “They kidnapped my family, they hit me, I handed everything over”. Then the alarm went off
Did they beat you?
“Yes, I was hit. But above all they intimidated us by showing us knives, they threatened us, they said they had the gun and they made me feel that they had it – says Saturnino as he comes out of the Montesilvano carabinieri barracks, immediately after having testified for over three hours, together with the wife on the details of the robbery -. I’ve always tried to keep calm, not to give in to any provocation.”
How did you manage to get out without physical harm and without exposing your child to unnecessary dangers?
«Perhaps we were lucky – he says comforted by his wife – that when the situation was getting worse the alarm went off because there was someone outside who was moving. So they got scared and ran away, but that wasn’t the intention, they would have stayed longer».
They already had watches and jewels in hand and were looking for something else. Did they not believe you when you said not to keep large sums of money at home?
«Yes – continues the story – they had already taken everything we had but were asking for more. In these situations the bandits think they are getting more than what you gave them, but I obviously gave them everything. These are situations in which one thinks only of safeguarding the family. The most important goal is to bring the skin home. We have been lucky. It had started very badly, really very badly. When they didn’t like something they beat me up.”
The little girl was also at home: how is she, has she seen anything unpleasant?
‘She’s fine, thank goodness they didn’t hurt her. Neither to me nor to my wife – says Saturnino mentally reviewing the nightmarish forty-minute film -. We were together when the raid happened, then Sheila, the little girl and the maid were locked up in the kitchen. There was no violence until they moved me and the servant to another room. It was long, almost forty minutes, maybe it felt like an instant or a lifetime, I don’t know. I can only say we were lucky. Good at keeping calm, but definitely lucky. She was in really bad shape.”
What did you think of the bandits?
“Decisive people, certainly professionals. There were four of them, certainly a woman among them. Two took care of the women locked up in the kitchen, the others forced me to open the safe. There was certainly a fifth accomplice in the garden, acting as a cover. They had a strong Eastern European accent.’
Have you ever noticed anything unusual in the previous days?
“No. Nothing that could ignite in us the suspicion of being followed. We lead a normal life, but our condition is known.”
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