Last updated: 06:53 PM ET, Sun August 30 2015

French Police Nab Safe-Stealing Thieves That Targeted Wealthy Tourists

Impacting Travel | Michael Isenbek | August 30, 2015

French Police Nab Safe-Stealing Thieves That Targeted Wealthy Tourists

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It’s like something out of a classic heist flick. French police just announced that they have captured two men who are believed to have stolen safes right out of the wall from a dozen luxury hotel rooms while pretending to be wealthy tourists from the Persian Gulf, the AFP reported.

According to authorities, via the AFP, the men, aged 56 and 31, would uncover the room numbers of moneyed Gulf tourists, then pose as those individuals at the front desk, saying to staff that they had lost their key card. Now with access, they listened at the door with a stethoscope to make sure the room was empty. Once inside, a hammer and chisel were used to pry the safe from the wall. It was placed into a suitcase, and then the thieves “calmly” left the premises.

The AFP said the safe heists took place at high-end accommodations across France, from the suburbs of Paris to Nice and Monaco. Police finally caught up with the men at a hotel in the town of Saint-Etienne in central France on August 24 when they were recognized from video footage of a previous burglary.

Citing a report from France's RTL radio, the AFP said authorities found €80,000 (almost $90,000) worth of jewelry, luxury clothes and foreign currency, mostly from Persian Gulf countries, in their possession.

The suspected thieves also had 20 hotel room key cards, plus the main tools of the heists — a stethoscope, hammer and chisel.

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