They go directly from the Champs-Élysées to the prison box. Two 24-year-old men were sentenced by the Paris Criminal Court on Monday, after the snatching of a luxury bag in front of the restaurant of the Four Seasons George V hotel. They will have to serve ten- eight months in prison.
These few meters of sidewalk on the most beautiful avenue in the world, in the 8th arrondissement, are described by local residents as a cutthroat. On December 6, Morocco just won a football match at the World Cup. The Champs-Élysées are invaded by supporters. The police are everywhere and the traffic is very heavy. For her part, Coralie, 37, leaves a palace around 10:10 p.m., after a work meeting.
The victim’s head hits the pavement
This company manager who takes care of the marketing of the George V committee has to walk the 100 m that separate the luxurious establishment from her apartment. “There is a dangerous area there, known to local residents as a place where thieves usually post,” explains the lawyer for the civil party. A helmeted man appears and pushes her violently. She falls backwards and her head hits the pavement. “Give me your bag,” belches the thief. Coralie, flabbergasted, is ready to give everything. Her attacker can’t wait and snatches her Kelly bag, a classic from Hermès. He climbs on the scooter driven by an accomplice and flees. The driver of a van tries to tail them before losing them.
A prepared attack according to the prosecutor
Territorial security investigators retrieve the CCTV images. They identify the two-wheeler. The work on telephony puts names on the faces of thieves. A few days later, these two men were arrested in Aubervilliers (Seine-Saint-Denis). During the searches, the officials find clothes corresponding to those of the criminals.
They also discover a photo of the Hermès bag taken in the lobby of one of them. The two suspects are both identified by the victim. The prosecutor believes that this attack was prepared. The magistrate notes that these violent teams which hunt watches and bags in the beautiful districts are a real concern in the capital. “They posted themselves in front of this establishment with the intention of taking action. These are very serious acts. These two men know perfectly well what they are risking and prefer the option of easy money, ”estimates the prosecution.
“A friend told me he wanted to steal this bag”
In the court box, Omar and Alexandre know the music. Not very talkative, they stick to their line of defence. The first confirms that he was driving the scooter. “It was not prepared. We were coming to celebrate Morocco’s victory and a friend told me he wanted to steal this bag. I did not see the scene of violence because a truck was blocking my view. When I watched the video, I understood that it was serious, ”he assures.
Convicted three times for theft and drug trafficking, this strong young man is unemployed and would like to become a truck driver. His sidekick, Alexandre, denies it altogether. “That evening, I was at home watching the game and I had lent my phone to Omar because he didn’t have the Internet,” said the boy. His criminal record is heavy with eight convictions for theft and he has just been released from prison.
One of the defense counsel tries to soften the line and recalls “that it was about having fun with friends at the start. And that this theft, decided on a whim, would only be the result of their social precariousness”. The two thieves were kept behind bars where they will have to serve sentences of eighteen months in prison.