A gang of eight French burglars has been sentenced to jail time for stealing from Parisian celebrities. The burglars targeted the homes of many high-profile celebrities throughout 2018 and 2019 in a series of widely publicized break-ins. Their targets included footballers, musicians, and actors. The group of seven men and one woman were all sentenced to prison time Wednesday for their various roles in the break-ins.
The burglaries targeted high-profile individuals almost exclusively. Thiago Silva and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, both players on Paris Saint-Germain, were among the celebrities burglarized by the group. Other victims included the rapper Booba, television host Patrick Sebastien, and celebrity chef Jean-Pierre Vigato.
The main goal of the group seems to have been to steal the highest density of expensive luxury items they possibly could in the least amount of time. Items favored by the burglars included watches, jewelry, leather goods, cash, and precious metals.
The seven men were arrested on charges of theft in a group and criminal association. Reporters in Paris also pointed out that the men all had a long list of prior convictions. However, the court noted that their life stories were “complicated,” and showed some restraint in sentencing them. Notably, the group never hurt anyone: their ringleader, Mohamed S, was known as “The Cat,” for his ability to silently break into residences and make off with valuables.
Two of the men, Mohamed S and Abdelazim G, received the harshest sentences: they’ll each spend six years behind bars and they face 20,000-Euro fines. The other men got sentences ranging from one to four years and varying fines, owing to their different roles in the break-ins.
The one woman who was charged faces lighter charges and a lighter sentence due to her peripheral role in the crimes. She was charged with handling stolen goods, which lead to the authorities conducting a search of her home. When police searched her residence, they found a handgun, leading to charges of possession of a weapon.
As for the money the group made from the stolen goods, the group alleged that they spent it all at nightclubs and on various trips around Europe. Some also claimed to have purchased cars with the money. The various fines applied to the burglars are comparable to the value of the goods they stole.
Unfortunately for the owners of the stolen goods, the items have long since been fenced, and are likely unrecoverable now.