Monday, June 30, 2014

France: Assailants Use Surveillance,Tear Gas to Steal US$245,614 Ring from US Couple at Hotel

According to http://www.thelocal.fr and the French magazine, Le Point, a wealthy US couple were victimized at the five-star Ferme Saint-Siméon property in Normandy on Saturday night (June 28) after using wire cutters to quickly remove the €180,000 (US$245,614) ring from the terrified woman's finger.

After interrupting commercial electricity to the high-end hotel, at least three masked robbers burst into the couple's darkened guest-room, where the wealthy US couple were staying and sprayed them with tear gas, Le Point emphasized.

One of the assailants then used wire cutters to snip the ring off the woman's finger. They reportedly left as quickly as they had arrived.

Moments later, the assailants escaped from the hotel, leaving the retired couple shaken, with their eyes stinging, but otherwise not seriously injured.

COMMENT: As most of our regular readers know, I strongly encourage all travelers to learn how to recognize indicators that they are being followed by criminals, as increasingly, thieves use creative strategies to relieve their victims of their property. 

Police believe that the assailants had been following the couple from the nearby chic Normandy resort of Deauville, which gave them the time to meticulously plan the theft. The robbery happened after the couple had returned to Ferme Saint-Siméon from dinner in a restaurant. 

This robbery occurred after the government had announced new efforts to keep tourists safe.

France has been plagued by a series of high-profile crimes in recent years. Crooks have pulled off some amazing jewelry heists in the south of France and pickpockets have became so frequent that workers at the Louvre went on strike. 

Most recently, a busload of Chinese tourists who had just arrived in Paris were relieved of their cash and valuables en-mass, within hours after arriving in the capital.