Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Crime in the Charente: A recent example

And it's spreading inexorably, especially into the countryside from larger conurbations like Angouleme. Early last week in the mid afternoon our Mayor's secretary had her car broken into and her handbag stolen. It has astonished everyone that Colin didn't see or hear anything. He has the reputation of being the 'eyes and ears' of Saint Romain. If anyone suspicious appears in the street outside, particularly if they are newcomers to the village shop opposite, he makes a note of details and times and if a vehicle is involved, records the registration. On the afternoon of the said theft he witnessed nothing.

The Police visited us  yesterday afternoon. It seems that Colin's reputation had spread to the Gendarmerie. They were mightily interested in his record of  registration numbers. Could be extremely useful to them in many ways. During the conversation the two young Police officers explained that it was believed the crime had its base in the need for drugs. (We know this has been a problem below the surface here, for a long time.)

Anyway to cut a long story short, two men were arrested this morning in connection with  thefts from cars parked outside cemeteries, whilst their owners were seasonally occupied on hallowed ground, laying wreaths on the graves of deceased relatives, which is a time honoured custom throughout France. The men were using another ruse, that of being Jehovah's Witnesses, to con their victims in their own houses.. Whilst they were in detention, Police searched THEIR domicile and found it to be full of stolen goods. This cache was transferred to the Police Station and victims of recent theft, have been invited to visit there to see if they can identify their stolen property.

The arrested men turned out to have been released from prison in recent weeks having served sentences for similar crimes.

Our Mayor's secretray's hand bag has been found but emptied of its contents.

If anyone still believes that France is idyllic, think again. Parts of Angouleme are are quite as horrid as certain infamous cities in England.

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