Paris: Juvenile pickpockets new kings of the streets.

Don’t give up visiting Paris just because of a bunch of  thick heads. Two reporters from French magazine, Paris Match tracked  a group of young teenagers on the loose in the heavily touristed areas of Paris. They can be 8 to 17  years old.  They are out of school outlaws…..

and seem perfectly groomed to become skilled professional thieves.  These are most likely  Roms, (for  Romania) from Eastern Europe.  Girls  blend in the crowds dressed like any other teenager while boys  are more openly malicious. They are mischievous, taking over the streets, stealing everything  they can, and harassing random people. As reported by Emilie Bachère.  The story  is old like the hunchback of Notre Dame. What changed ?….The cell phones?  The ability to take pictures and post them publicly in the blink of an eye?  Maybe, but technology doesn’t apply against these age old techniques.  The stores are victim to these thieves, the individuals  are caught off guard,  the tourists are assaulted,  and the police are powerless.  Adults are behind the scenes pulling the strings, the scenario is cyclical:  Select and  distract the prey,  rob,  run,  blend in, and repeat.  Full story in French here,  

Photo: Eric Hadj -ParisMatch
Photo: Eric Hadj -ParisMatch

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From this coverage, we learn that for a safe visit in Paris’ popular places, vigilance is required.  Don’t use street  money tellers, never leave a phone on a table at a cafe terrace, don’t stop to answer a survey, or when asked for the time/directions, and stay away from groups of kids even if they look innocent.

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