Maria and Albana, Albanian cleaners, brave heroines! They disarm the thief in a pharmacy in Italy

maria and albana
Maria e Albana, source: 
 A hooded man enters the pharmacy in Galluzzo, Florence armed. Two women, both born in Albania, waited for the right moment, took his gun, and made him flee: "Forgive him? Not yet."

He waited a few minutes in line, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a scarf covering his face. Then, when it was his turn, he pointed the gun at the pharmacist, demanding the cash. Panic ensued at the pharmacy in Galluzzo on Tuesday afternoon. In the midst of this panic, Maria and Albana, two Albanian friends working as cleaners at the premises, found the strength to act on instinct and averted the worst, local media write.

"I was cleaning the shelves near the entrance of the pharmacy," said Maria, 39 years old. "I saw from a distance that the guy had pointed the gun at Dr. Elisa. I saw her slump under the counter, fearing she might be dead. Then I saw that the robber had placed the gun on the counter. Without thinking for a second, I instinctively went towards him, trying to be quick but not make any noise. I took the gun from the counter and ran towards the pharmacy's exit with the gun in my hand. He chased after me."

A prolonged struggle ensues between Maria and the robber. Maria falls to the ground, tossing the gun far away. At this point, Albana enters the scene, diving for the gun and running away with it as far as possible. The robber chases Albana; they run through a part of Piazza del Galluzzo. Then Albana throws the gun onto the pavement, and the robber retrieves it and disappears.

Today, Maria and Albana are back at work at the pharmacy in Galluzzo.

Maria, 39 years old, has been in Italy for 19 years, married with three children. Albana has two children and has been in Italy for 23 years. Both born in Shkodër, they arrived in Italy at a young age to join their husbands. "Our action may seem heroic, but in reality, we acted on instinct, an instinct of protection for ourselves and for the other customers in the pharmacy. There were many people there at that moment, including a mother with a 2-year-old child."

They still have those intense moments in their eyes, "yet we slept peacefully these past two nights," the two women joke. Maria and Albana also have thoughts for the robber: "We would like to tell him to never do something like this again, but we would also like to tell him that it's not worth ruining his life for a few hundred euros. Forgive him? I don't think we are ready to forgive him yet."

And finally, a remark: "Sometimes there is prejudice against foreigners who commit crimes, but this time we are happy to have helped disarm a criminal who, from his way of speaking, seemed Florentine."
Previous Post Next Post