British ex army burglar finally caught after targeting expats

Published:  25 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: France, Euro
A British ex-soldier convicted of a burglary spree in central France has been caught after going on the run for five months.

The unnamed 52 year old had terrified expats and local living in Civray, a market town close by La Rochelle. Targeting the expat community and identifying them by their British car number plates, he carried out at least 40 burglaries before he was caught. His victims were often second home owners who visited regularly but didn’t leave their properties well-secured whilst they were away.

Finally apprehended in April last year, he managed to escape and went on the run before being sentenced in absentia to 15 months in a French prison, but his trail went cold after a European arrest warrant was issued. It seems he used skills learned during his time in the British army to set up a forest hideout in dense woods near Surin, along with five other criminals fleeing French justice. Finally French police caught up with the fugitive and arrested him and his companions.

According to media reports, the arrests went down without any violence, and a search revealed silverware and jewellery as well as other valuables including laptops. According to Surin’s mayor, one couple had been robbed no less than eight times, and children as well as elderly residents became very scared. Local people imagined they could see him everywhere, although his burglaries mostly took place at night. After his arrest, the burglar admitted 90 per cent of the valuables found at his makeshift camp were the result of his crimes, and he’s now serving his sentence in prison.
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