Four people, suspected of stealing elderly people across France and Europe, arrested

The suspects used the “Surfing Shoulder”, a technique which consists in looking over the victim’s shoulder to observe his bank card code before stealing it.

MO12345lemonde with AFP

Their gain is estimated, at this stage, at more than 153,000 euros: a Bosnian criminal group, which raged in several European countries, is suspected of having defrauded several hundred elderly people throughout France by stealing their bank card.

The four members of this network, three women and a man aged 22 to 35, were imprisoned on Wednesday 1 awaiting their trials in April, learned Thursday. ‘Agency France-Presse (AFP) with the gendarmerie.

The investigation had started in Finistère, where a phenomenon of Shoulder Surfing, a technique which consists of looking over his victim’s shoulder, had been noted to observe him to type his bank card code, before Stick it and make purchases or withdrawals.

victims aged on average of 77 years 2>

The gendarmes of the Quimper research brigade and the Rennes antenna of the Central Office for the Fight against Rimming Delinquency (OCLDI) then noted the recurring presence of four people on the video surveillance cameras of several shopping centers . Quickly, it appeared that the group operated throughout France and, in January, a national survey cell was created. “In total, several hundred flights, uses of bank cards and attempted scams in the prejudice of the elderly are identified,” according to the gendarmerie. The average age of the victims is 77 years.

Reconforcements have enabled investigators to establish that this very mobile criminal group committed similar acts in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Croatia and Germany. The four suspects, located thanks to cross-border monitoring, were finally arrested on Sunday in a hotel in Brive-la-Gaillarde (Corrèze) while they were about to leave for Spain. A sum of 12,000 euros was found on them, their loot “of the last three days” according to the gendarmes, a sign of the high profitability of their activity.

/Media reports cited above.