Monday, December 10, 2012
Paris hit by wave of street muggings and grave robberies
Last week, police in the French capital arrested three people as part of a widening grave robbery investigation. There was further public outrage after two masked intruders shot dead a 52-year old precious metal worker when he tried to stop them stealing gold from his foundry in the chic central Parisian district of Le Marais.
Police said sky-high market prices for precious metals are acting as a magnet for thieves with scant regard for the living or the dead. In Pantin cemetery, in the north of Paris, dozens of bodies have recently been dug up, with gold teeth and jewellery stolen from them. Police sources said the three men seized last week were gravediggers employed by the city's cemeteries.
Last month, four other men – three from the same Pantin cemetery – were arrested and placed under investigation for aggravated theft, grave robbery and violating the integrity of a corpse.
According to a source close to the investigation, the men removed personal belongings from corpses in the freshest graves, opening them in the dead of night. Two of the men were caught wearing miner's helmets and gloves. Their boots were covered in fresh earth. One of the suspects was found to be carrying 10 gold teeth. Read more >>