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CRIME

Homeless man who stole €500k from Paris airport finally snared

A homeless man who stole half a million euros in cash from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris before disappearing without trace has finally been tracked down. But where's his loot.

Homeless man who stole €500k from Paris airport finally snared
Photo: AFP

The story of the homeless man turned Paris police's most wanted fugitive made headlines in France and internationally.

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 simply disappear without a trace?

That was the question people and even the police themselves have been asking since December 8th when the man took a chance and pushed open the door of an office belonging to Loomis, a company which handles cash deliveries to and from businesses.

He emerged with nearly half a million euros in cash and then went off the radar.

This week however it emerged that police had finally tracked him down to a shelter in La Courneuve, a suburb to the north of Paris. He was arrested after a simple identity check.

The fugitive recognised he was the thief, but when asked about the plunder, he told officers he had been kidnapped and beaten up before being robbed of most of the cash.

He also said he had spent a little of the cash and given some to friends.

While police will be glad to have finally got their man, it seems they have their work cut out to get their hands on the cash.

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.”
 

 

 

 

CRIME

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

A French court on Thursday convicted eight men for the theft and handling of a Banksy painting paying homage to the victims of the 2015 attack on the Bataclan concert hall in Paris.

French court convicts 8 for stealing Banksy from Paris terror attack site

Three men in their 30s who admitted to the 2019 theft were given prison sentences, one of four years and two of three, although they will be able to serve them wearing electronic tracking bracelets rather than behind bars.

Another man, a 41-year-old millionaire lottery winner and street art fan accused of being the mastermind of the heist, was given three years in jail for handling stolen goods after judges found the main allegation unproven. His sentence will also be served with a bracelet.

Elsewhere in the capital, the defence was making its final arguments in the trial of the surviving suspects in the 2015 Paris attacks themselves, with a verdict expected on June 29.

‘Acted like vultures’ 

British street artist Banksy painted his “sad girl” stencil on the metal door of the Bataclan in memory of the 90 people killed there on November 13th, 2015.

A white van with concealed number-plates was seen stopping on January 26, 2019 in an alleyway running alongside the central Paris music venue.

Many concertgoers fled via the same alley when the Bataclan became the focal point of France’s worst ever attacks since World War II, as Islamic State group jihadists killed 130 people at a string of sites across the capital.

On the morning of the theft, three masked men climbed out of the van, cut the hinges with angle grinders powered by a generator and left within 10 minutes, in what an investigating judge called a “meticulously prepared” heist.

Prosecutor Valerie Cadignan told the court earlier this month that the perpetrators had not sought to debase the memory of the attack victims, but “being aware of the priceless value of the door were looking to make a profit”.

She said the thieves “acted like vultures, like people who steal objects without any respect for what they might represent”.

During the trial, Bataclan staff said the theft sparked “deep indignation”, adding that the painted door was a “symbol of remembrance that belongs to everyone, locals, Parisians, citizens of the world”.

Investigators pieced together the door’s route across France and into Italy, where it was found in June 2020 on a farm in Sant’Omero, near the Adriatic coast.

Three men involved in transporting the door were each jailed for 10 months, while a 58-year-old Italian man who owns a hotel where it was temporarily stored received a six-month suspended sentence.

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