Paris police arrest pickpockets they say targeted tourists
A visitor stands in front of to entrance in Louvre museum Paris, France, Wednesday, April 10, 2013, after the famed museum was closed when workers walked off the job to protest what they said is the increasing problem of pickpockets. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)
Published Wednesday, September 18, 2013 5:40AM EDT
PARIS -- Police have arrested pickpockets who targeted tourists at Paris' most famous museums and monuments for months.
The group was sophisticated: They dressed as tourists, carrying cameras around their necks to blend in, and always bought entry tickets. They operated at the Louvre, the Musee d'Orsay, the Eiffel Tower and the Chateau de Versailles, bringing in as much as 2,000 euros ($2,700) per day by grabbing the wallets of tourists.
Commissioner Stephane Gouaud said Wednesday that the small group was arrested a day earlier after a weekslong investigation. He said they were difficult to catch because they were never seen by their victims and since they targeted tourists, many from Asia, their crimes went largely unreported.
Petty theft, long a concern in Paris, has particularly plagued the city in recent months.