Narbonne: they trade for €2,000 with stolen checks

The criminal court in Narbonne on Thursday 15 September prosecuted three people including a couple for burglary, fraud and concealment of theft.

The facts go back to the beginning of 2021. Two people who live in the Port-la-Nouvelle sector forced into a garage and ended up entering the house located in the town of La Palme. They steal bicycles, a television, a mini-safe, identity documents and checkbooks and load their loot into a station wagon, leaving behind the tools that allowed them to enter the villa.

A few days later, one of the individuals went with his companion to several supermarkets north of Perpignan. They cheerfully fill the shopping cart with “luxury” food items, but also with a console and many video games. At the checkout, he pays for the whole thing each time using the stolen check book and identity document. Three big races for a total of €2,000. He also fills up the car using the same process, while making sure to hide his number plate a bit, as the gas stations use cameras to record the car’s numbers each time.

At the same time, the gendarmerie launched an investigation on 20 January after the break-in. The genetic analyzes of the tools left behind lead us to suspect two individuals. One is known unfavorably to the courts for 13 convictions, including 7 for burglary. The last one in 2018 even gave him an order of commitment at the end of his hearing.

The second person is also known to the police and the gendarmerie with seven entries in his criminal record for cases of theft and concealment of theft.

Arrested admits the facts. A year and a half later, this Thursday, September 15, they are brought before the court in Narbonne, where they repeat their confessions, explaining their actions because of the financial difficulties they encounter. They shared the loot from their theft, and one of them recovered the checkbook and the identity document. At their side at the helm, the latter’s companion is being prosecuted for fraud and concealment of theft as she accompanied her companion shopping at the supermarket and gas station.

Christmas after Christmas

The investigation will also establish that this person was guilty of several thefts in the Port-la-Nouvelle sector between January and May 2021 using a crowbar. But this time he acts alone and doesn’t always achieve his goals. He will also be found in his home several stolen items as well as checks and identity documents carefully stored in the bedroom of one of his partner’s children.

In turn, the president of the court and the prosecutor try to identify the actions of the unknown companion in 2021 of justice. Was she aware of the thefts and the fraudulent use of stolen checks? During her hearing and before the judges, she repeated the same as no significant element of the investigation seemed to prove otherwise. He was the one who wrote the checks and she only accompanied him, unaware of any crimes committed by her companion. She maintains her version of the facts, even though the judges and the prosecution are surprised “of those who Christmas shop after Christmas” too large an amount, as the couple survives unemployment and benefits. This all the more so when they go shopping, far from Port-la-Nouvelle, but near Perpignan.

The public prosecutor is asking for harsh sentences. 14 months imprisonment and commitment to the perpetrator of the first burglary; 18 months’ imprisonment including 10 months concurrent with two years’ probation for the master of the thefts and check fraud; and finally 280 hours of compulsory public interest – otherwise she incurs two months’ imprisonment – for the companion.

The judges decide in their judgment to finally requalify the facts regarding the latter. Fraud is not retained and only concealments are taken into account. She received a three-month suspended sentence. The other two people, on the other hand, are found guilty of the charges against them. They have been sentenced to 12 months in prison, but without a commitment order. They will later be summoned by the magistrate judge.

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