Gypsy Child Thieves

Gypsy Child Thieves

2009, Society  -   48 Comments
Ratings: 8.40/10 from 155 users.

For centuries gypsies lived on the margins of society and faced brutal discrimination. Many have resorted to begging and stealing to survive, but in the last twenty years organized crime has taken over and since 2007, when Romania joined the European Union, gypsy children have been trafficked and exploited on a massive scale. In Spain eight-year-olds robbing grown men at cash machines has become a common sight. In Italy a major police investigation found enslaved children locked in a shack like animals.

It's only the tip of the iceberg and it's a phenomenon that we'll have to fight against for a very long time. Liviu Tipurita grew up in Romania and he's been making films about gypsies and about child trafficking for many years. To investigate what's happening to these children he's going on a journey that would take him inside the closed world of the gypsy community, and he'll reveal the shocking tide of racism they face. These children are the victims of a culture of crime and the society that seems to have abandoned them. The question is: will anyone save them from the hands of their exploiters.

It's the week before Christmas in Madrid and for the Spanish children it's a time of great joy and anticipation, but Liviu is there because he's heard there are many gypsy children from Romania in the city working as thieves. Wandering about the center of town he sees gypsy beggars, but there's something more sinister going on there. As he heads back to his hotel he sees a girl hanging around the cash machine. She's no older than 13 and at first sight she appears to be begging but actually she's watching customers as they enter their pin and approaches them as they're about to withdraw money.

She's using a piece of paper to cover her hand as she tries to press the button for the highest sum available on the cache machine and take the money as it comes out. She's a distraction thieve, one of the gypsy children that the police say make up a third of all the under-17-year old they have to deal with in the city.

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6 years ago

"Romania Gypsy" ?
What ? No they come from India, go and do your research, you will find out that Romanians are Latin people that have been invaded by those Indians
Get your facts straight

7 years ago

I totally agree with Claudia, not because I am romanian, but as she said the truth.Many people in Europe make a big confusion when is about the gypsies which come from Romania,To be very clear for everybody as it said in the documentary also , the Gypsies came in Romania 1000 years ago and settled there. Before 1989 when we used to live under communism regime, all the gypsies were obliged by low to work in agriculture, or factories and if they refuse would face the jail. After 1989, since the communism regime ended, there are no jobs even for Romanian people, and lot of good Romanians emigrated on west Europe and America, Australia, etc, trying to make a better life and a future for their children. The documentary should make a reference not only to the gypsies but to show the life Romanian people have overseas, as they are decent people and work pay for the rent, put their children on school and they are clean, don't steal from people and they are very decent.

8 years ago

My grandmother lived in an area infested with gypsies. Once they moved into the neighborhood, stuff started disappearing, things were vandalized, and on several occasions, my grandmother was actually confronted by them at her front door. They tried this thieving ruse wherein one of them tried talking to her in an attempt to distract her, while the other one physically tried to push past her to get into the house to steal. Things like this happened to her on more than one occasion. She was over 80 at the time. They have NO respect for ANYONE, regardless of age. Sorry if that sounds "insensitive", but hey----just calling a spade a spade. Not my problem if you don't like the facts.

My mom had experiences with gypsy kids where she used to live in Santa Monica. She caught them stealing stuff in a laundry room at an apartment building, and their whole excuse was that their parents told them, "If it isn't nailed down, it's yours." Nice. Nope---all this "politically correct" BS is just that---bulls***. Sorry--they don't get a pass for being "economically depressed" or whatever crap line they want to spew. If this is their "culture", better for it to die out than try and "preserve" it.

sharp eyes
9 years ago

Remember... Europeans too had the same beginnings..(robbing,slavery etc:etc). & they still do-- Iraq!!!... in that case the gypsy is better.. they have no plan of one world order, eugenics so on.. after all the cooperation elites rob our whole life than the pick pocketers (now they are rich they seems to have character.) better leave the gypsies alone and lets concentrate on the big fish who wants us to adapt to their models of life...-beware of one god,one currency, one system. one world....

9 years ago

Their surround and attack method of stealing reminds me of lions singling out their prey. Pretty scary stuff.

Dean Thompson
9 years ago

Yes they come from impoverished backgrounds. Yes they are discriminated against. But teaching your children to steal...and, even worse, selling your own children? And selling underaged girls as brides? This is debased, disgusting behaviour. Their culture is terrible.Their culture needs to change.

9 years ago

I found this to be too disgusting to finish. Very upsetting.

Lauri Neva
9 years ago

The Hyper Rich breeds this age discrepancy and the resulting youth crime! No one seems to care either and they just accept the status quo!

Candace Sturtevant
9 years ago

As I understand, England gave the Jews, Israel, so they had a country of their own. The European nations must give the Gypsies a nation of their own, it would seem, as well. If Romania, or Northern India, where this film says they came from, does not want them; then it would seem fair to me that the whole of the Earth give them a place to live. If they want to continue to be nomadic, they could do it within their own borders. Having your own country; perhaps, would give them the incentive to do honest work because you cannot steal from another gypsy, who has nothing, now can you? Teach them to fish, and help them for a lifetime.

Bonnie Jean Bowman-Beams
9 years ago

Where is all the money going? Are the cops taking it? The center? This is shameful. These children need to be taken away. Then what will they do? I'm so disgusted.

9 years ago

The biggest uncomfortable thought about this whole gypsy movement are that their 'controllers' in Romania who investigate which countries are ripe for exploitation.
They then plan, assist and send poor families into numerous different countries to harvest what they can, to send back to the 'Old Country'.
They know exactly what they are doing and pick countries with laws which will minimize any legal interference with their gypsy folk families (extended).
I have no idea how you could re-educate a stubborn independent community (making tons of money, by the way) to change their whole culture.
I'd try to start with the young brides, with birth control info. number one. Less kids means less child exploitation.
Too weird to me the drive to send the money back to Romania though! What are they promised if they deliver or threatened with if they don't?

9 years ago

These people need compassion and education but the problem is 2 fold
imo. Gypsies are also fiercely proud and independent. They do not want
to succumb to social norms and traditions of modern society. They are a
sort of nomadic people group without a reservation and they don't want
your interference, judgments and criticisms of their preferred way of
life. It's not that they don't see that it's possible to change. They
see and it and reject it in order to keep their own sense of social
unity and identity separate from modern society. The only possible way
to assimilate them would be through educating their children into modern
society over time.

9 years ago

I certainly don't know what to say or where to begin with my disgust for a culture & society that abuses children to this degree. The teens interviewed in Spain clearly stated that they moved there with the intent to beg & steal to send money back to Romania. Their ultimate intention to someday return home.

Most if not all immigrants are reviled at some time. The ones who work hard, are not criminals & give back to the communities in which they have moved are ultimately accepted.

These people have no intention of settling down & giving back to the community let alone working. They admit to a culture of thievery. The town at the end of the doc back in Romania is a clear example of the greed & intentions of trafficking & abusing all those children. What a bizarre neighbourhood that was. A twisted Dr. Seuss meets David Lynch. These people are not stealing & begging to survive. This is blatant organized crime. The fat rich guy at the end is concerned they are getting too greedy. He thinks they should moderate the amount they steal or no country will have them & then where can they steal from? No thought whatsoever to changing & encouraging education for the young & working for a living.

I have more respect for bank robbers where the money stolen is insured & the thieves are not exploiting & abusing children.

Harry Nutzack
9 years ago

"we're one europe" or "they're YOUR gypsys", you can't have it both ways. the vast majority of comments on this subject ALWAYS read exactly like our american racists and their views on brown skinned people. or self righteous christian fundies on "the evils of islam". when it comes to evaluating groups of people (especially ethno- or religio- types differing from our own) we humans tend to see only what we WANT to see. if you want the gypsys to be productive members of your society, include them in your society. a bite of your "dole apple" and barely hushed scorn is NOT inclusion. people who worry about mass deportation will NEVER "assimilate", people who worry about "ethnic cleansing" will NEVER trust. centuries of tribalistic exclusion has developed the "gypsy monster" you whine about. to "tame the monster" takes much more than a plate of beans, a spelling primer, and barely concealed contempt.

9 years ago

There's a story about Roma Gypsies and their illegal antics in Greece and Ireland, including child trafficking, on the home page of MSN Canada today.

9 years ago

I grew angry while reading this article. I grew up by being obliged to travel with the gipsy kids in the same bus. I have former study mates who ended up being their teacher and I my selft worked for organizations trying to educate them. And from this perspective I am writing this iformation to you. I do not deny that what was written here might not be true. But IT FAILS TO PRESENT THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEM.

It's a story presented only from one perspective: that of the poor gipsy!

One should go one step back and see how women get pregnant without any birth control or sexual education. then they sell their kids for amounts close to nothing. Or emigrate to pursue the disgrace in other countries. Try to educate them (gipsy kids) and they will run from school because parents need them to beg, give them social aid and they will rob you at the corner of the street! I am sick sick sick of all this reporters who are seeing only what they want to see and what they find spectacular to report in societies that have other values.

9 years ago

Why aren't the authorities doing their jobs? People pay massive amounts of taxes to these government agencies.
This kind of harassment would not be tolerated for one day in my city.

Kris Kemp
9 years ago

Am I supposed to feel sympathetic for these people? Why? They moved
into a place where no one wants them, then they resort to stealing,
robbing, and other criminal behavior, while they live in squalor. They
should be in jail. And they deserve to live in squalor because they are
criminals. They use the ruse that they are discriminated against but
if they behaved like normal people, they would be treated like normal