Seven women and five men, most of whom are Roma people from Romania who were sending their children to steal from tourists’ pockets in the Disneyland Paris area, will stand trial in France for allegedly being involved in a criminal network, according to AFP, reports local News.ro.
As previously reported in February, the gang is believed to have stolen around 1 million euros worth of foreign currency, luxury jewelry or phones from tourists. However, the total damage is not known for sure as many foreign victims have not filed a complaint. A thousand thefts were recorded in six months.
The investigation was opened in 2015 when the Chessy Commissariat in Seine-et-Marne found a strong increase in thefts and robberies committed by young Roma near Disneyland Paris and the Regional Express Train (RER) network that serves the resort. The pickpockets were also present in the Val d’Europe commercial center.
The minors were stealing from people’s pockets in broad daylight, acting in groups of three or four, said Commissioner Jérôme Georges. One of them was distracting the victim while a second one was stealing from his pockets. A third one was in charge of making the stolen goods disappear.
Marian Tinca, 57, and his former wife Maria Iamandita, 51, both of them from Craiova, were leading the gang.
The French court’s ruling is expected on Friday, reports local News.ro. some of the defendants risk up to 30 years in prison.