The thieves, who operated only on the early morning metros in the capital, targeted people who looked as if they were sleeping or drunk.
Most of them were arrested early Sunday morning at the Pere Lachaise station in the north east of Paris. One was caught out by his victim, who was “only half asleep”.
Four others were arrested by undercover policemen as they ran away from their victims who were “chosen for being in an inebriated state”, according to officers.
Police have been looking for these culprits for weeks, and had developed a specific plan to capture them.
“This phenomenon has always existed – in nighttime hotspots of the capital,” Said the deputy director of the transport police Serge Rivayrand.
“But what’s new is these teams that go to the metro specifically to target a potential victim.”