A pair of Romanian migrants were arrested in Paris after being suspected of a series of robberies of churches in both the city and the surrounding suburbs, with at least 70,000 euros’ worth of property stolen.
The two migrants, aged 29 and 41, were taken into custody on August 22nd after attempting to sell electrical cables they had stolen from a metal recycling site and were charged in connection with a series of church robberies that occurred from April through until August, Le Point reports.
A source close to the investigation commented on the arrest saying, “by the end of June, several burglaries in places of worship in Paris, but also in Seine-Saint-Denis and Seine-et-Marne, were listed”, and claimed the two men had stolen at least €70,000 (£63,000/$81,000) worth of goods.
One of the thefts took place on June 27th at the Notre-Dame d’Auteuil church in the 16th arrondissement of Paris and was partially witnessed by the parish priest who saw a man run out of the church to a car with a waiting driver and flee the area.
The thief had left behind a bag containing gold and diamonds that had been taken from a statue of the Virgin Mary along with gloves, a crowbar, and a screwdriver.
‘Allah ou Akbar’ Graffiti Found in French Church Partially Set On Fire https://t.co/tpvsQtXfkn
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Police were able to procure a photo of the suspect along with the licence plate number of the car used in the robbery which led to their eventual arrest. Both migrants have denied involvement in the church thefts.
French churches have been the subject of attacks in recent years, both from those attempting to steal from them as well as others who have attempted to burn churches down.
French churches have also been targetted by far-left activists in Paris who, along with a number of illegal migrants, barged into the Basilica of Saint-Denis, home of the tombs of French Kings in March, forcing a Sunday evening mass to be cancelled due to concerns the protestors may have returned.
Last year, France’s Interior Ministry reported a 245 percent increase in anti-Christian attacks including a 17.4 percent increase in attacks on Christian places of worship.