Italian police are hunting for a gang of bandits who broke into a convent in Castel Gandolfo -- the Pope's summer retreat -- on Christmas Day and took the mother superior hostage, the Telegraph (British) website reports today (December 28, 2014).
Three men forced a window at the Pius XII Institute in the Alban Hills south of Rome just after midnight on Christmas Eve and began ransacking the mother superior's office on the first floor.
When the mother superior appeared in her office to investigate, the men grabbed her and walked her to her bedroom where she was forced to hand over 5,000 euros from the convent's cash box.
The men then grabbed her mobile phone and locked her in her bedroom before escaping through holes cut in the fence at the back of the convent's grounds. Outside, an accomplice was waiting with a getaway car.