A man who became incensed by the non-stop coughing of his neighbours ended up stealing two cars before being caught after a police chase.

"/> A man who became incensed by the non-stop coughing of his neighbours ended up stealing two cars before being caught after a police chase.

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OFFBEAT

Coughing neighbours drive man to double carjacking

A man who became incensed by the non-stop coughing of his neighbours ended up stealing two cars before being caught after a police chase.

The 35-year-old lives with his mother in the town of Bussy-Saint-Georges, east of Paris.

Newspaper Aujourd’hui reported that mother and son live in the same building as two taxi drivers who, for several days, were suffering from loud coughs.

The noise from the neighbours was disturbing the sleep of the man who, on Wednesday, took matters into his own hands when he went to complain.

The argument quickly degenerated into a fight and one of the two taxi drivers fled the building by jumping out of the window. 

Enraged, the disturbed neighbour brandished a shotgun and a handgun in the face of the other taxi driver and stole his car.

With the police in hot pursuit, he decided he ought to change cars to escape detection, so held up the female driver of a Ford C-MAX, who handed over the keys.

Police eventually caught up with him about 28 kilometres away. He will appear in court on Friday charged with theft with violence.

twitter.com/matthew_warren

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OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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