• France's news in English
 

Shop's Grand Theft Auto mobster stunt goes awry

Published: 18 Sep 2013 14:00 GMT+02:00

When two workers from a game shop in the town of Montargis, south of Paris, dressed up as gun-wielding thugs on Tuesday, they thought it would be a fun publicity stunt to promote the long-awaited release of the new Grand Theft Auto game or GTA 5 as it is referred to.

Unfortunately for them, however, the stunt was lost on a concerned passer-by, who alerted the police believing a major robbery was about to take place, La République du Centre reported on Wednesday.

Within minutes of the call, around fifteen armed policemen from the anti-crime brigade surrounded the shop, some waving submachine guns, ready to do whatever was needed to prevent the anticipated armed robbery.

However, thankfully it became clear in a matter of minutes that it was all a harmless misunderstanding and luckily before any shots were fired.

An embarrassing conversation no doubt ensued, in which the owner of the Micromania video game store had to explain to the officers that their mobster-style garb – including replica guns and bandanas – was in fact just a fancy dress costume to publicize GTA 5.

Needless to say, the police were not amused, with one officer telling La République, that it was lucky no one was hurt.

“It could have ended very badly," he said.

Released on Tuesday in France, Grand Theft Auto 5 has been dubbed the most eagerly-anticipated release this year by the French press.

Originally created by programmers David Jones and Mike Dailly, the series – which allows players to take on the role of murderers and car thieves in an open-world environment – is one of the most critically acclaimed video games of all time.

But it  is unlikely the officers who were called out in Montargis would have been thinking about the release of GTA 5. What would more likely have been on their minds is a recent string of real armed robberies that have become the focus of debate in France.

Just last week a jeweler in Nice, southern France, was charged with murder after he allegedly shot an alleged armed robber. The shooting prompted a rally of support in favour of the businessman and plunged France into a row about the use of force in the defense of property.

And that is just one of the many heists to hit the French Riviera.

In July, The Local reported the record theft of €103 million ($137 m) worth of jewellery from an establishment in the southern city of Cannes.

And in May, daring thieves robbed €1 million ($1.33 m) worth of jewellery that had been due to be loaned to the world’s biggest film stars at the Cannes Film Festival.

More recently, in Paris, thieves ram-raided an upscale Paris jewellery store making off with €2 million ($2.7 m) worth of jewellery. 

Don't want to miss a story about France? - Then join The Local France on Facebook and Twitter.

Sophie Inge (sophie.inge@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
UK better off under Labour: France's Piketty
Thomas Piketty, France's "rock star economist" says the UK would be better off under a government. Photo: AFP

UK better off under Labour: France's Piketty

On the eve of the UK election, France's "rock star economist" Thomas Piketty, says the UK would be better off under a Labour government than the Tories, who have only helped to boost inequality over the last five years. READ  

Uber launches helicopter service for Cannes
A helicopter in Cannes, southern France. Photo: AFP

Uber launches helicopter service for Cannes

US taxi service Uber is launching an on-call helicopter operation to get Cannes Film Festival-goers from the airport to the venue in a matter of minutes. READ  

Paris loses out in rankings for sexy singles
Where are the most (and least) attractive single people in France? Photo: Shutterstock

Paris loses out in rankings for sexy singles

The most attractive single people in France are not actually in gay Paris, (as the myths and Parisians would have you believe) but Lyon. Or at least that's according to a new survey which also ranked where the least attractive single people in the country are. READ  

Counting Muslim kids: A very French scandal
School children wave French flags, but should authorities be allowed to label them on ethnic grounds? Photo: AFP

Counting Muslim kids: A very French scandal

A far-right French mayor caused one heck of a hullaballoo this week when he admitted using the names of school children to count the number of Muslim pupils. A classic Made in France scandal that has once again provoked a row. READ  

France 'trusts' Germany to act on spying claims
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Francois Hollande. Photo: AFP

France 'trusts' Germany to act on spying claims

France said on Wednesday that it was confident the German government will take the necessary action after claims that its intelligence services spied on top French officials. READ  

Paris Terror Attacks
Elysée guards 'sick of heavy and sweaty gear'
A guard stands outside the presidential palace. Photo: AFP

Elysée guards 'sick of heavy and sweaty gear'

Members of the nearly 200-strong contingent of presidential guards say heavy machine guns are leaving them in pain and sweaty bullet proof vests are resulting in spotty skin - basically making their working conditions "intolerable" in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, a report has claimed. READ  

French FM to attend Russian WWII ceremony
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. Photo: AFP

French FM to attend Russian WWII ceremony

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would go to Russia for Saturday's celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany which is being boycotted by most Western countries. READ  

UK economy leapfrogs France, new study claims
Ouch. France overtaken by the UK as the world's 5th economic power. Photo: Oli Bac/Flickr

UK economy leapfrogs France, new study claims

There was more bad news for France on the economic front on Wednesday as another study claimed that the British economy was currently in the process of overtaking the French as Europe’s second largest. READ  

Paris Terror Attacks
Charlie Hebdo handed 'courage' award in US
Charlie Hebdo editor-in-chief Gerard Biard accepts the award in New York. Photo: AFP

Charlie Hebdo handed 'courage' award in US

The PEN American Center stood its ground on Tuesday and presented satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo with an honorary award, even though their decision had already caused many writers to boycott the gala. READ  

Pedestrian Paris
Paris to drive cars off River Seine's right bank
The right bank of the River Seine could look like this in the future. Image: Luxigon

Paris to drive cars off River Seine's right bank

With the left bank of the River Seine safely in the hands of pedestrians, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo now wants to take away the right bank from the city’s cars. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Travel
The most spectacular places to watch the sun set around France
National
France tells migrants in Calais to 'forget the UK and stay here'
Who's to blame? Trial after Frenchman dies downing 56 shots
Society
VIDEO: See what's beneath the surface of the French Riviera
National
French teen suicide after sex video web bullying
France launches bid to buy Europe's biggest and most spectacular dune
Business & Money
Why May 2015 is the best month in years to work in France
Features
What's on in France: Ten things to do in May
Five great outdoor bars in Paris to check out this summer
Double standards? French Muslim barred from class over long skirt
National
France goes on the defensive after UN experts say 'racism is trivialised'
Five reasons we should be worried about France's new snooping laws
International
The French don't seem to care about the UK election and that's normal
Culture
Only in France? Naked comedian stuns French culture minister
Migrant camps spring up in the heart of Paris
International
France bags another fighter jet deal but should Paris thank the US?
Society
French elevator protocol: Greeting, flirting and yes, even sex
Travel
Getting from CDG airport to Paris by road should now be a lot quicker
Politics
Why all the dodgy ties? A French view of the UK general election
France may produce the most wine, but who drinks the most?
National
Why do the French have such a sorry record for recycling?
7Up row could see French language enforced on all flights to Canada
Culture
Take a peek inside France's newest, but oldest tourist attraction
National
How to disguise the fact you are clearly not French
France desperately hunts for church terror plot accomplices
WARNING - When in France use first names with caution
Can France really protect 4,500 churches around the country?
So what does the world's oldest bubbly taste like?
British expats left in lurch by NHS clampdown
Tossing cigarette butts in Paris to prompt €68 fines
Culture
Cannes Film Festival reveals jury
Flamanville: France's nuclear 'calamity' that has the UK worried
Features
Forget the Mona Lisa, here are the weirdest objects you can see in Paris
For many Britons 'Waterloo' is just an Abba song or a train station
IN PICTURES: See the French ship 'Hermione' set sail again for the US
Opinion
Is it time the French scrapped tu and vous?
National
Marine Le Pen makes Time 'most influential' list
National
Sexual harassment rife on Paris trains
Cannes Film Festival line-up revealed
National
Cartoonist's book slams 'Islamophobia swindlers'
National
More French women than men lured by Isis
Society
Les Entrepreneurs: We chat with the founder of Paris Picnic
National
Edith Piaf celebrated at Parisian show
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

?>