Pickpockets who targeted Paris tourists arrested

Paris — French police have arrested a gang of pickpockets who dressed like tourists in order to target visitors — mostly Asian tourists — to Paris' most famous museums and monuments.

The group was sophisticated, dangling cameras from their necks to blend in, always buying entry tickets and slipping away unnoticed. They operated at the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower and the Chateau de Versailles, bringing in as much as 2 000 euros (R26 200 at R13.13/euro) per day by grabbing the wallets of tourists, according to Commissioner Stephane Gouaud.

He said a group of fewer than 10 people was arrested Tuesday after a weekslong investigation. But he warned that other pickpockets are no doubt still at large.

Petty theft, long a concern in Paris, has plagued the city in recent months. Workers at the Louvre went on strike in the spring to protest an increase in thefts. The situation prompted the Paris police to publish a brochure in six languages warning tourists about how to avoid falling victim to such thefts.

The group arrested this week loitered in the most visited areas of the attractions they targeted, hanging out near the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo in the Louvre, Gouaud said.

Between language and cultural barriers and the fact that many tourists are only in town for a short period, Gouaud said the thefts were almost never reported, complicating the investigation.

He wouldn't give details on how the gang was finally caught.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When a Covid-19 vaccine for under 16's becomes available, will you be taking your children to get it?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, immediately!
38% - 4133 votes
I'll wait to see how others respond
26% - 2800 votes
No, I don't think they need it
36% - 3964 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.32
(-0.49)
ZAR/GBP
21.17
(-0.07)
ZAR/EUR
18.28
(-0.12)
ZAR/AUD
11.77
(-0.06)
ZAR/JPY
0.14
(-0.09)
Gold
1700.70
(+0.04)
Silver
25.22
(+0.17)
Platinum
1128.01
(+0.31)
Brent Crude
69.67
(+3.93)
Palladium
2329.95
(+0.62)
All Share
68271.19
(+0.78)
Top 40
62788.64
(+0.87)
Financial 15
12759.80
(+0.67)
Industrial 25
87613.31
(-0.32)
Resource 10
70801.78
(+2.36)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo