Beware of gold chain thieves

Pulling chains from the neck has become a real sport on the streets of the capital and the surrounding suburbs. As sunny days approach, synonymous with jewel-revealing cleavages, the Paris police headquarters is issuing a new call for caution and is preparing, in the event of an increase in attacks, to launch, like last summer, a broad awareness campaign aimed at the general public.

In 2012, 5,000 leaflets were distributed in the northeast of the capital and in Seine-Saint-Denis, especially affected by these thefts: “Your necklace is precious to your heart, but also to the eyes of thieves: with the beautiful days, Be careful that its brilliance does not arouse envy,” warned the message printed on the bright yellow poster.

A plague exported from Marseille

A true scourge exported from Marseille at the beginning of 2011, robberies with neck chains, committed mostly by young people between 16 and 20 years old and sometimes even minors, have multiplied over the months, to such an extent that it has been necessary to adopt a specific system. measures to try to control them: establishment of a very precise map of the sectors where the robberies are perpetrated, greater surveillance of the affected areas by teams from the anti-crime brigade (BAC) and specialized field brigades (BST).

In Paris, these teams are mainly deployed in the Belleville-Ménilmontant sector, in the 19th and 20th arrondissements, where numerous attacks of this type have been recorded. Especially against single and elderly women. Many times with violence. “This is generally a local crime,” we emphasize at the police headquarters. The perpetrators often operate in their own neighborhoods, not in the most prosperous areas of the capital. »

Gold buying agencies, which have flourished throughout Paris, driven by the crisis and the rise in precious metal prices, have also been under close surveillance for almost two years.

Those responsible, obliged to verify the identity of the seller, are not always very attentive… During the winter of 2012, however, a very significant drop in the number of chain breaks was recorded (- 60.9% compared to the same period of the previous year). registered and the police headquarters attributed it to the various measures adopted, which led to the arrest of several hundred thieves. But with the return of good weather, nothing guarantees that we will not see the “thieves” reappear on the Parisian sidewalks.

And not only that: on March 4, in Villemomble (93), a 13-year-old boy did not hesitate to ring the doorbell of a 92-year-old woman, brutally snatching her gold necklace when she opened the door for him. . He was arrested.

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