Through Normandy editorial staff
Three defendants prosecuted on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at Rouen Criminal Court (Seine-Maritime), accused of having committed several aggravated thefts between February and June 2019 in Rouen, but also in Caen and Angers, in the company of two minors.
On March 7, 2019, around 3 a.m., the Angers national police was informed by the municipal police of a refusal to comply with a vehicle, with individuals on board who fled on foot after having collided with a sidewalk. The municipal agents specify that the vehicle circulates all lights extinguished on the public highway, before fleeing in their sight. On the spot, the national police officers carried out checks and found that the vehicle came from a theft, committed in March 2019 to the detriment of Enedis, in Rouen. They start researching the surroundings, and discover the fugitives “hidden” in a wooded park. Two minors and two adults are arrested. During their searches, officials discovered balaclavas, gloves and smoke bombs.
Rouen-Angers for a flight
Placed in police custody, Jean *, 22, admits to having left Rouen to go to Angers in order to manage a theft “with a ram car” in a telephone store. He explains that he came with six other people in the vehicle. He ensures that the driver and front passenger of the vehicle have escaped, and refuses to provide their identities “for fear of reprisals”. Louis *, 26, relates that in Rouen, an individual came to his contact and offered to “take a tour of Angers”. The two minors have the same story, but ensure that they did not have what the vehicle was.
The user of the stolen Enedis vehicle told investigators that he parked around 5 p.m. and encountered the theft of the vehicle at 6 a.m. The company Enedis also specifies that the perpetrators of the theft damaged doors and blurred the offices of the company, before stealing a computer and the keys of the vehicle.
Seized of the investigation, the SRPJ of Rouen very quickly made a connection with another event which had occurred four days previously to the detriment of a computer store in Caen, “with the same operating mode”. The authors had discovered the store window there using a vehicle “”, before abandoning it on the spot. Two witnesses confirmed having heard “a big boom” during the night, having seen “three or four individuals entering the store”, and having called the police by abandoning the vehicle. The video surveillance produced to note the arrival of two vehicles, of which the stamped Enedis, and individuals leaving the store “with obviously full bags”. After verification, the vehicles used again stolen from another Enedis agency in Rouen. One of them was found in La Londe, in a carpool area a few days later.
Heard, the security agent Enedis explains that on the night of March 3, 2019, he found the door to the parking lot of the open company, and the key cabinet “partly burned”, before finding that five vehicles were there. been stolen.
Enedis magnetic badges found
Over the course of surveillance, telephone surveys and DNA samples, the police gradually identify the people working in this series of aggravated thefts. On September 18, 2019, a first wave of arrests took place. Five minors and two adults are arrested and placed in police custody. Magnetic badges belonging to one of the Enedis companies were found at the home of one of them.
Heard, minor of their implications in the facts which are reproached, but involve “a large”, which they designate as “the organizer” of the series of flights. They add to have acted thus because of a debt “or” as a result of the pressures “added by the latter. Louis acknowledges his participation in the theft committed in Angers, but denies having committed other crimes. Jean, who very quickly appears as “the right hand of the organizer”, also acknowledges his participation in the attempted breakage with the ram car, but refutes any involvement in the other misdeeds. At the end of their custody, each of the accused is indicted for criminal conspiracy and aggravated theft, and four of them are placed in pre-trial detention.
While the investigation continues, investigators hear a witness asserting that Jamel *, 31, is “the organizer of these thefts” and that he tried to sell him equipment from the stores attacked. He reports to investigators that Jamel would have “recruited and used children for thefts”, and indicates that he had filed a complaint against Jean and Jamel for acts of burglaries committed in June 2019 at his home. He claims to have recognized Jean and Jamel thanks to surveillance videos from a nearby business. After checking, the investigators discover that the vehicle on the video surveillance is that of Jamel, and decide to place it on wiretap. They quickly discover that the latter “keeps himself informed of the progress of the investigation” by Jean, however imprisoned in Amiens.
The two protagonists decide to agree their versions: “You have to deny everything, there are only the declarations of the minors against us. “The detainee adds:” You are wanted, they will come and question you. Jamel was arrested on June 2, 2020. At his home, products of brands identical to the stolen goods were found. Heard, the man disputes “being the leader” and denies any involvement in the thefts for which he is accused. However, he admits to having handed over stolen phones through an individual whose identity he refuses to give. Indicted in turn, Jamel is remanded in custody. After two years of instruction, the investigating magistrate orders the referral of adults to the criminal court. Minors are compared in court for additional children.
“I needed the money”
At the hearing, the defendants change their statements. Jamel now recognizes his participation in theft and concealment and admits to having acted “out of greed”. Louis and Jean for their participation in the attempted theft with a car bé committed in Angers: “I needed money, I took gloves, a balaclava and a bag. All agree that “nothing was thought of in advance”, and that the other flights are “coincidences”. By dint of questions, one of the defendants admitted that the stores were not chosen at random, “but because of the value of the potential loot located there”.
For the prosecution, the involvement of the three defendants is beyond doubt. He considers himself convinced that the defendants have come to an understanding in the preparation of the facts committed in Angers and supports his remarks: “They stole a vehicle in Rouen and went to Angers gloved, hooded with the intention of using it as ram car. The representative of the company then sheds the “overwhelming” testimonies, technical and scientific investigations to establish his indictment. Faced with the violence and the gravity of the acts committed, he requires against Louis the sentence of two years ‘imprisonment and four years’ imprisonment with continued detention against “the ringleader and his right-hand man”.
Two and four years imprisonment
The defendants’ lawyers are trying to resolve the flaws in the case. In turn, the councils point to “the lack of objectivity of the investigators”, but also “the statements of certain co-defendants”, who according to one of the councils “overwhelms his client as soon as the noose tightens around of them ”, and finally“ the lack of investigations ”which would have made it possible to certify the veracity of the declarations of their respective clients. Thus, Jean’s lawyer asks for an acquittal for all the facts committed in the commune of Rouen and ensures that his client acted thus “because of debts”. Jamel’s advice also asks for partial relaxation and challenges “the role of leader” that is attributed to his client. All the councils seek leniency from the jurisdiction and seek penalties that may be subject to adjustment.
The court declares the guilty of the acts which are charged and sentenced Louis to a two-year prison term, 14 months of which accompanied by a probationary suspension of two years. Jamel and Jean are sentenced to four years in prison, and are wrapped up in detention. **
* The first names have been changed.
** This sentence is subject to appeal. Everyone is presumed innocent until all remedies have been exhausted.
From our correspondent Frédéric Bernard
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