Two Dundee jet setters have spoken of the moment all of their belongings were stolen – weeks after they set off on a round the world trip.
Lucy King and Paige Coutts, both 23, saved for months before embarking on the trip – taking in places such as France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy – with plans to visit Canada, Hawaii and the Philippines.
However, the “trip of a lifetime” was put in jeopardy in Italy when their bags were stolen as they travelled on a train to Pompeii – a popular tourist destination which was buried under metres of ash and pumice after the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.
Lucy and Paige were left with nothing but the clothes on their backs and items they had been carrying.
The pair have spoken about the experience in the hope that they can warn other travellers and prevent them falling victim to a similar crime.
Lucy, from Lochee, said: “We were on the train travelling from Rome to Pompeii. We sat about four rows down from where the bags were and checked them regularly.
“Paige went to get her neck pillow and both bags where fine but then, in the space of five minutes, they were gone when she went back to use the toilet.
“Someone had taken them off at Aversa – people must have been watching us as each bag weighed more than 20kg. We didn’t travel light.
“There is no way one person could have got those bags off themselves. It must have been more than one.
“Paige shouted to me to say the bags were gone and I thought she was joking. It took about 10 minutes to sink in.
“I phoned my mum to tell her and that’s when the tears started.
“We went to the police station when we got off at the next stop. They were lovely but they basically just said the crime rate is very high there.”
Lucy and Paige, who lives in the city centre, initially said they were going to come home after falling victim to the theft – however, they have since pledged to not let it ruin their trip.
Lucy added: “We probably did take a bit too much but we are girls, and girls never really travel light.
“We had all our clothes, shoes, make up, straighteners, hair dryer, iPads and documents stolen.
“We just feel devastated. We worked so hard to buy everything for this trip and it’s gone. To begin with, we said we were going home but then we sat and thought about how depressed we’d be if we did.
“We found an H&M in Pompeii and bought two bikinis each, underwear, toiletries and two outfits each – we are just going to pick up things as we go along.
“We urge anyone who is travelling to not let their bags out of their sight for one minute because it can all happen so fast.”