Thefts from cars: an “opportunistic” thief

Raouf knows how to recognize an opportunity when he sees one. A lowered window is enough for him to help himself inside a car. Except that in this game we risk getting caught.

A string of belongings was found in Raouf’s car. The 30-year-old Algerian claims that some of them belonged to him. Others were his ex-girlfriend’s business. “I was in motion,” he said Friday morning at the helm of the 13the the Criminal Division of the District Court of Luxembourg.

“I had lived for three years with a disabled woman whom I helped. She died of covid. I was on the street.” His companion, when he was arrested, nevertheless confessed to the police that the cases stemmed from thefts.

Among these items is a laptop computer and a pair of luxury sunglasses stolen on April 22 from a car in Leudelange. Two months later, on the afternoon of June 24, Raouf was caught red-handed in Lamadelaine. He admits to stealing a pack of cigarettes, 125 euros and a pair of luxury glasses from a car.

He is caught red-handed by the owner and his brother-in-law, who try to hold him down until the police arrive. “He had already stolen the neighbor’s glasses,” says the brother-in-law at the helm. “He wouldn’t let go of his bag and wanted to leave at all costs.”

“He walked like an eel”

“I used my lunch break to go and kiss my wife and my daughters, who were with my sister. A question in five minutes. I had even parked badly and had no intention of rolling up my car window. When I got out, I saw a man searching my car. He had my smartphone in his hand. He dropped it immediately and said he was looking for cigarettes. I had money in my car,” recalls the victim.

The two witnesses overpowered the defendant who struggled on the ground. In Raouf’s backpack, the victim finds his belongings. “He walked like an eel.” “It’s like that when you master your job,” comments the chairman of the correctional service.

The police will eventually find him at the station after combing the surroundings. “My brother-in-law and my mate chased him first alone, then with the police,” said one of the witnesses.

“It came like that!”

Raouf recognizes the two thefts. “It came like that!” explains the defendant. “You work on the possibility. You try the car doors and when they are open, you take what you can,” replies the president. “I am not a thief,” says Raouf. “He was previously convicted in 2020 for theft. We are of five,” according to the president who did the counting.

Because of these last two facts, the defendant had been banned from entering the territory of Luxembourg since December 7, 2019. “I did not know that. I was given a sheet to sign, but I didn’t understand what it was”, tries to justify the one who answered everything. “He was escorted to the French border at that time”, the representative of the public ministry clarifies.

The judge ordered a 24-month sentence against him and an appropriate fine for theft, theft with violence and money laundering and possession of the proceeds of theft. “The defendant’s explanations have no credibility,” he said.

He was touring cities

“His ex-girlfriend explained to the police that they were going around different cities to steal from the cars.” “He has confessed to the thefts. Why would he lie about the business he says is his?” Says his lawyer, explaining his complicated career, “his legal and social position is not easy”.

Me Hellal gets angry at the witnesses “who wanted to take justice into their own hands” and “threw Raouf’s punch”. “Those are the risks of the job,” the president replies.

“He did not commit a robbery with violence. He fled because he was beaten. It is up to the police to detain people. That is what they are trained for”, tries to justify the lawyer asking for a suspended sentence, clarifying that the defendant would not be able to pay the fine if he were to be sentenced to pay one.

The verdict will be handed down on November 9.

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