• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Shop's Grand Theft Auto mobster stunt goes awry

Sophie Inge · 18 Sep 2013, 14:00

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.

Story continues below…

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
Who is to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
CGT union's workers block with burning tires the access to the refinery of Fos-sur-Mer, southeastern France. Photo: AFP

With petrol stations quickly running empty and the protests set to rumble on, who can be held responsible for the growing crisis?

Paris unveils first stretch of 'bicycle highway'
Photo: AFP

Could Paris be on the way to becoming the new Amsterdam for bikes?

French air traffic control unions call for June strikes
Photo: AFP

Air traffic controllers and thousands of other workers could be set for a three day strike at the beginning of June.

IMF urges France to deepen job reforms
Photo: AFP

The International Monetary Fund has warned France to go beyond its already hotly contested job market reforms.

Dordogne named among the 'best places in Europe'
Photo: Dale Musselman/Flickr

Travel company the Lonely Planet calls the Dordogne "France's foodiest region".

French fuel crisis: 'A quarter' of petrol stations run dry
Workers on strike block the access to the harbour of Saint-Nazaire, western France to protest against the government's planned labour law reforms. Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Over 3,200 petrol stations are now reportedly empty or running dry.

French police 'raid Google's Paris offices in tax probe'
Photo: AFP

Around 100 French officials and police have raided Google's offices in Paris, reports say.

EgyptAir Flight MS804
EgyptAir: Human remains 'suggest explosion on board'
Photo: Egyptian Armed Forces

New findings, if confirmed, would support the theory that a bomb may have brought down the plane.

How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
How to avoid the fuel crisis in France. Photo: AFP

There are far worse places to be stuck with no fuel than rural France, but here's some official advice on how holidaymakers can avoid becoming stranded.

Special ops units to police Tour de France for first time
Photo: AFP

France is taking security at the Tour de France extremely seriously this year.

National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
Lifestyle
New map reveals Paris flat prices by Metro station
Culture
Paris: Here's how to find French cinema in English
Culture
How to say 'OUCH' in French (and ten other sounds)
National
Get ready: France to be hit by week of transport strikes
Culture
France readies for first national 'motorway party'
National
Is this the eco-solution to France's wild-peeing plague?
Sport
Paris mayor wants Seine to be 'swimmable' before Olympics
National
IN PICTURES: Police car torched in Paris protests
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and more to come
National
Why does 'everyone in France hate the police'?
Culture
Foolproof ways to make French friends in France
National
Seventeen French ex-ministers vow to shine light on sex harassment
Lifestyle
French Riviera mega-mansion faces being bulldozed
Culture
Eight ways the French are different to Parisians
2,740
jobs available