Their secret was an electronic box. Thanks to him, the car opened as if by magic. And above all, it started without a problem. Six men suspected of a spectacular series of car thefts were arrested on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday in Paris (VIIe). This Friday, their defense was still ongoing.
They were arrested in a parking lot on the rue de Tourville when they were attracted to a Toyota Land Cruiser. Among the defendants, Habib C., 51, “a big thief with a lot of experience, who did not hang much in court but a middle weight”, admits a source close to the investigation. The other alleged members of this team, who are over twenty years old and not well known to the police, are mainly from Argenteuil (Val-d’Oise) or the surrounding area.
Loss of 1.67 million euros
Police officers from the anti-robbery squad had been tracking this “team” for months. Last September, the public prosecutor’s office in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) arrested the “car” group of this service after the theft of Lexus brand cars. It was just the beginning. According to our information, the same gang was responsible for the theft or attempted theft of 40 cars, almost all in the Paris region. The total damage will be 1.67 million euros.
The police had managed to identify all the members of the gang and targeted the two “armoured vehicles” that were used: a Renault Captur and a Clio that the thieves used to sneak to the scene of their crime. Normal cars and above all “in order” in the event of an unexpected police inspection.
Cars are going to West Africa
What happens to stolen cars? “They leave the container via Antwerp (Belgium), towards West Africa, where it is returned without any problem”, explains the same source. Last year, the security department of Yvelines arrested a similar team that was specialized in the theft of Toyota Rav 4. The police had intercepted in May 2022 a container in Le Havre (Seine-Maritime), leaving for Africa. Inside, three models stolen a few days earlier.
There was a time in the mid-2010s when Range Rovers kept getting stolen and ended up in Africa. PSG players, with this style, were victims. This was for example the case of midfielder Blaise Matuidi. “The quiet security of these cars has been strengthened because the insurance companies had started to waver, the expert said. The problem now is that thieves have found a defect in the Lexus casing. They know how to adapt”.