Italian police are tracking a man who, they say, hypnotises grocery store and banking staff in numerous locations into handing over their receipts to him. The cops have closed circuit camera tape of the incidents, and they have the testimony of the mesmerized employees. (Incidentally, that's silly. If you're going to hypnotise people anyway, leave a post-hypnotic suggestion to destroy that tape). Now they just have to find this fellow, and avoid looking at him, or listening to him, while they clap the handcuffs on him (and they apparently have to hope he's also not an escapologist). Then we need to hear his side of the story.
Now, what I don't understand is the business hypnotists always tell you that you won't do something under hypnosis that you would not do while not hypnotized--that a hypnotist cannot override your moral values. Maybe someone who practices hypnotism can explain why these folks would have turned over the money. From the photo in the BBC story, it doesn't look as if the suspect has a weapon, and I didn't see anything about a weapon in the story, although the suspect might have mentioned a weapon or other threat. In any case, I don't see how that could diminish the charges against a suspect in such a situation. We certainly need more information to clear up this very weird affair. And I suspect that this tale will be transformed into a Law and Order episode very, very soon, complete with post-hypnotic suggestions, lots of magicians, a lovely assistant, backstage intrigue, and conspiracy. And I won't get a credit.