A Salutory Tale

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john
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A Salutory Tale

Post by john » Sun 04 Jan 2009 09:33

On returning home just before Christmas after a pre-festive break with the family in the UK,we discovered we'd been the victims of a burglary. Cash,irreplaceable jewellry and family heirlooms (as opposed to tellies,computers etc) seemed to be the booty of choice. Closed volets,sturdy windows and locked internal doors proved no match for our light-fingered friends' crowbars and jemmies;and next door's large slavering dog was no deterrent either. Since then,several facts have emerged:

On my many subsequent trips to the Gendarmerie it appears that South PO is becoming something of the "Cambriolage Capital" of Languedoc Roussillon,with the many unoccupied houses,good communications and easy access to French and Spanish flea markets where the swag can be offloaded.

Houses where there has been no discernable activity for 3 days or more are the targets. "Staking out " rounds are common.

Whilst I appreciate that cash is virtually impossible to insure,in my negociations with the Insurers,it seems that jewellry/valuables are also not covered unless you have receipts/valuations/photos/descriptions,and they are kept in a safe,preferably at the bank. This,despite the fact that there is no reference to that in the policy. Needless to say we had very little of the above,so we've pretty much lost the lot.

SO...... I'm publicising this, as I suspect many others will not be aware of these points. Don't get caught out like us. Beef up security,check the deal with your insurers,and keep an eye out for any unusual cars,activity in your area.

And be mindful that the once safe area of PO is becoming a place of much more criminal activity.

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Kathy
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Post by Kathy » Sun 04 Jan 2009 10:12

So sorry to hear that John, that is a horrible end to Christmas for you.
Thanks for the advice.

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sue and paul
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Post by sue and paul » Sun 04 Jan 2009 10:52

Hello John. A much happier New Year to you both! And of course our commiserations .

It's a lesson we must all learn, and although we never think we have anything of great monetary value, we would not want our 'junk' to be lifted, or our home to be invaded. Thanks for the warning. If 'coming out' like this prevents even just one other burglary, it's worth doing.

Serge

Post by Serge » Sun 04 Jan 2009 10:53

Yes, sorry to hear about that John.

Just how thorough are the police in France with things like that, there used to be a time in the UK when there were more police on the ground, that they would have a fair idea of who the perpetrators were likely to be and deal with it swiftly.
That part of policing seems to have been lost here in the UK, it seems to have been replaced by 'luck', bad if you do get burgled good if you don't.
I was hoping that it was still alive and kicking in France.

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Marguerite & Steve
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Post by Marguerite & Steve » Sun 04 Jan 2009 11:08

John, so sorry to hear this, just what you want at Xmas, lets hope 2009 brings you and Barbara a Happy, healthy and wealthy New Year xx

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Post by collioure_bee » Sun 04 Jan 2009 11:23

Sorry to hear that John. Thank you for the advice, it seems the insurance companies have even more get out clauses here than the UK.

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Sun 04 Jan 2009 11:28

Thanks for the warning.
What a horrible homecoming for you.
Last edited by polremy on Sun 04 Jan 2009 18:06, edited 1 time in total.

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PaddyFrog
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Post by PaddyFrog » Sun 04 Jan 2009 11:36

John,
Sorry to hear your bad news, I hope Barbara will be able to come to terms with it, whilst it is hard for guys, it is a betrayal of that special place where women and kids need to feel safe.

Best wishes
Michael

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Nigel and Karen
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Post by Nigel and Karen » Sun 04 Jan 2009 12:09

Sorry to hear that John.

Try to think of it as a bad end to last year, and not a bad start to this one??

Last jan I had a rental car broken into (the first crime I had come across in 9 yrs).

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A Salutory Tale

Post by Polly and Steve » Sun 04 Jan 2009 15:04

We're so sorry John and Barbara to hear this; what a miserable thing to have happen. A collective hug from Polly, Steve and David - but actually you could probably do without it as we're all crawling around in varying stages of flu!! Nothing to what you're having to go through though; wish we were there to offer better support. Bisous.....

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Puddles
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Post by Puddles » Sun 04 Jan 2009 19:20

John,
So sorry to hear about your bad news.
For intrest pehaps , I live in an area , where all the neighbours are French.
when one of us goes on holiday , or away for a day or more , we tell each other; It"s a bit like neighbour watch if you like.
One of my neighbours has the keys to my house on a permanet basis , & I have his keys . If we dont see any activity in 24 hours we go to find out if we are still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We did have a problem New Years Eve when someone tried to get into a neighbours house. But cause of his dogs , & me getting out on my balcony with a torch to see what was what they ran off; you are correct about the crime wave i'm afraid & yes , it is so easy to nip across the border & flog goods. Until the police / customs at the borders do more to check things nothing will change. Sorry.
Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

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Chantal
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a salutory tale

Post by Chantal » Sun 04 Jan 2009 19:38

ooooooh, I am so sorry for you too. such a heartache! some things just cannot be replaced, can they?!

have the police bothered with a fingerprint search at the very least? anything dropped/left behind by the burglers - tiny as it might be? have neighbours been interviewed?

perhaps this could lead to some clues?

best wishes to you all.

chantal :)
A fresh outlook on life! Une nouvelle vision de la vie! - www.ShantalOneSupport.com - +44 7909 330446

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Post by thumbelina » Sun 04 Jan 2009 20:25

so sorry to hear about your bad luck John. wishing you much happiness and better luck in the new year

Kind regards

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PaddyFrog
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Post by PaddyFrog » Sun 04 Jan 2009 20:39

Puddles wrote: Until the police / customs at the borders do more to check things nothing will change. Sorry.
Unfortunately Puddles as Unlike the UK, France and Spain are Schengen Countries, So you do not need identification and technically you cannot be stopped at the Border and a Schengen Country resident should not be stopped by customs.

Personally I think the Arab approach for me is better, if you nick you get your hands cut off, end of story.

Having nooky on the side, that needs negotiation!!
:wink: :wink:
Michael

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Sun 04 Jan 2009 21:23

on the side of what?
autoroute peut-etre?

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PaddyFrog
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Post by PaddyFrog » Sun 04 Jan 2009 21:33

polremy wrote:on the side of what?
autoroute peut-etre?

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Michael

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john
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Post by john » Mon 05 Jan 2009 09:55

Well thanks very much Ladies and Gents for your kind words of support. They are much appreciated.

To answer a few points,Serge(and others') one re seeming acceptance by the Police of this sort nefarious activity is plain for all to see here as it is in the UK. Yes,they went through the motions(photos,fingerprints,lengthy reports etc) but the guy in charge rather wearily made the same light hearted remark as PF (the Taliban style limb removal option). I tersely pointed out to him that even that is rather dependent on the Police actually APPREHENDING the perpetrator(s).

I'll no doubt get castigated by the mods for "racism " here,but further info has come to light that the recent upsurge in thefts locally(yes,I've heard of at least 6 others) started with the arrival of a group of gipsies/travellers near Ceret Intermarché . Apparently they have now departed and there haven't been any more burglaries since then. Coincidence?

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Nigel and Karen
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Post by Nigel and Karen » Mon 05 Jan 2009 10:30

"Coincidence?"

No.

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Post by Colin L » Mon 05 Jan 2009 11:43

Firstly, John, Avril and I were sorry to hear of what had happened and sorry we are too far away to offer any practical help. You must both be devastated at this invasion of your home.

Our only experience thus far of a break-in was in Edinburgh when A came home early one afternoon and actually disturbed two youths in the house. They made off through a velux window and down a drainpipe (luckily for them it held their weight). The police response was good. Two of Lothian and Borders' finest arrived within minutes and two in another car collared the youths just a street away. Not enough evidence to charge them, but they both spent 6 hours in a cell where, given that they were looking for cash to feed their particular habit, they were climbing up the walls for want of a fix. Some form of justice, then.

As to your local group of gypsies, of course it doesn't seem like a coincidence and there's nothing racist in drawing the obvious conclusion. Feathers would only get ruffled if a generalised slur on all gypsies were made based on this particular instance in the same way as it would be wrong for me to denigrate all teenagers because two of them happened to invade my house.

Replacing what can be replaced under insurance is one thing: taking in the loss of the irreplaceable must be hellish. Bon courage

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