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Couple held over spate of tourist campsite thefts

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Couple held over spate of tourist campsite thefts
A couple have been arrested in Vienne, western France, on suspicion of up to 200 robberies of British, German and Dutch tourists at campsites, this summer. File photo: 1banaan/Flickr
16:08 CEST+02:00
A couple have been arrested in western France on suspicion of stealing up to 200 mobile phones, bikes, suitcases and other items from tourists in dozens of campsites throughout western and central France, it was revealed on Monday.

Tourists whose camping holiday in western or central France was marred this summer by having something stolen from them, may soon get some satisfaction.

Police in the western department of Vienne have arrested a couple on suspicion of stealing tens of thousands of euros worth of phones, furniture and suitcases during a spate of alleged robberies at campgrounds across France this summer.

“This was pillage on an industrial scale,” said police Captain Sylvain Soula from the town of Châtellerault, where the man and woman were arrested last Thursday.

During the course of the arrest, police discovered dozens of mobile phones, suitcases, bikes, laptops and tablets, game consoles and photo equipment, as well as euros and US dollars in cash.

The investigation began during the summer when tourists in campsites in western and central France, especially British, German and Dutch nationals, began complaining that they had woken to find personal items stolen from them.

The suspects appear to have targeted foreigners in particular, using their license plates to identify them as such, according to TF1 television.

The couple’s alleged modus operandi appears to have been to ingratiate themselves into a campsite by day, then use a boxcutter to slash open tents and steal property while the owner slept.

According to the prosecutor at Poitiers, near Châtellerault, some 50 thefts were reported in the Vienne department alone, with Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher and Deux-Sèvres also affected.

The total number of robberies could be as high as 200, the prosecutor said.

Have you every had anything stolen from you at a French campsite? Share your stories in the comments section below.

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