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article imageFrench thieves posed as Gulf tourists to steal hotel safes

By AFP     Aug 29, 2015 in Crime

Two men have been arrested in France suspected of stealing safes out of a dozen hotel rooms by posing as wealthy Gulf tourists, armed with a chisel and a stethoscope, police said Saturday.

The thefts took place at a range of high-end hotels dotted across France, from Monaco and Nice to the chic suburbs of Paris.

Police say the thieves would typically find out the room number of wealthy Gulf visitors, then pose as them at the reception desk, saying they had lost their key.

Using a stethoscope, they listened at the room door to ensure no one was inside. They used the chisel to remove the safe from the wall, then placed it in a suitcase and left calmly.

The suspects, aged 56 and 31, were finally caught at a hotel in the central French town of Saint-Etienne on August 24 after being identified from the video surveillance of a previous heist.

According to France's RTL radio, police have since found 80,000 euros' worth of jewellery, luxury clothes and foreign currency, mostly from Gulf countries, in their possession.

They also found 20 hotel room key cards, a stethoscope, hammer and chisel.

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