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The story of the homeless man who disappeared with half a million euros from a Paris airport

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The story of the homeless man who disappeared with half a million euros from a Paris airport
AFP
13:20 CET+01:00
How did a homeless man who spent his time living out of bins at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris somehow steal with half a million euros of cash and then disappear without a trace?
It's a crime story that has grabbed the headlines in France and could easily be the plot of a movie.
 
A homeless man who slept rough in Charles de Gaulle airport Paris and who survived by rifling through the bins and eating the scraps thrown away by jet setters has disappeared along with half a million euros.
 
He stumbled across the money on December 8th when he pushed open a door of an office belonging to Loomis, a company which handles cash deliveries to and from businesses. 
 
The door of the offices at terminal 2F is normally locked tight to protect the large amounts of cash stored there, and needs a security code to be opened, but it was apparently left unlocked.
 
Some 32 seconds later the thief emerged from behind the door carrying two sacks of cash and disappeared into the sunset, or at least out of range of the airport's many CCTV cameras.
 
A source close to the investigation told Le Parisien newspaper: "This is indeed extremely fortuitous. This homeless man benefited from a combination of circumstances to land himself a huge Christmas present."
 
A month has passed since then and the thief looks no closer to being tracked down, with the case becoming increasingly embarrassing for Loomis and detectives.
 
At first it was believed he had escaped with the not-so paltry sum of 300,000, but after a proper count it's been revealed that the bags of cash he lifted contained €490,000. That's what a source close to the investigation told Le Parisien newspaper.
 
To make matters worse the sacks of money were not booby-trapped with indelible ink, as most often are and did not contain any GPS tracker.
 
"It seems the money stolen that day came from a fresh collection and therefore these notes are untracable," the police source told Le Parisien.
 
"And as for serial numbers on the notes, the only bank notes whose numbers are listed are those that come from the Bank of France."
 
In other words it appears the thief can freely spend his loot without fear of detection.
 
On the plus side for police they claim to have at least identified the 40-year-old fugitive, who was wearing a blck North Face jacket and blue tracksuit bottoms with white stripes.
 
"He is a foreigner, from North Africa who spent most of his time at the airport," the police source said.
 
"It's possible that he has passed into Belgium or any other European country, where he may have been able to take a plane back home to rebuild his life in the sun," said the police source.
 
It's quite possible that we'll never see or hear of the airport thief ever again nor the half-a-million euros.
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