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CRIME

French cops bust gang of luxury car thieves

A two-country police operation has smashed an organised crime gang that stole high-end luxury cars in France and re-sold them for bargain-basement prices in Germany, Europe's judicial agency said Friday.

French cops bust gang of luxury car thieves
Photo: AFP
French and German police raided 24 homes in the two countries on Thursday, leading to the arrest of 15 suspected gang members and the recovery of 11 luxury cars, said Eurojust, which helped to coordinate the operation.
   
The investigation into the theft of posh cars started in June, when police dismantled a Roma camp in northern France, the Hague-based agency said in a statement.
   
That probe revealed links to two other cases lodged at the district court in Le Havre and it was discovered “the cars were stolen in France and sold to customers in Germany for low prices.”
   
Seventeen cases were also under scrutiny by organised crime investigators in Lille, Eurojust said.
   
The car gang “broke into car owners' private homes to steal their car keys,” before making off with the vehicles, forging identity papers and driving them to Germany, the agency said.

PARIS

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

Paris police on Tuesday fished a man out of the Seine river, which he jumped into after he rammed a car into a Valentino store and robbed dozens of luxury handbags.

Paris police rescue handbag robber from river Seine

The 24-year-old suspect smashed into the store around 2am on the high-end Rue Saint-Honoré, a police source said.

He grabbed as many as 30 luxury handbags and other items before attempting to flee in the car.

The man then failed to stop when a police patrol gave chase after spotting him near the central Paris Opéra.

He abandoned the car on Place de la Concorde at the end of the Champs-Elysées, the police source said, before plunging into the nearby river Seine.

But river police quickly fished him out and placed him under arrest.

A source familiar with the case said that the “entirety” of the stolen items had been found.

A second source told AFP that “around 30” handbags – which Valentino lists on its website at between €1,000 and €3,000 – were found in his car.

The suspect now faces an investigation for charges including aggravated robbery and refusal to comply with police, Paris prosecutors said.

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