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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Near Montpellier: families gassed in their sleep and stripped of their belongings

Home-jacking: a thief seizes the keys left in the villa.
Home-jacking: a thief seizes the keys left in the villa. (© Adobe Stock)

METROPOLITAN INFO/ At least three home jackings and a burglary were committed in a neighborhood of the small village ofAumelas15 kilometers west of Montpellier: the victims were gassed And robbed of their property. The attackers are on the run.

The least that can be said is that the authors – three in number, perhaps four – have ideas and take a lot of risks: the last two spectacular but gentle intrusions have took place in the night from Sunday to Monday and last night. At what time ? Mystery, since their passages were noted late, in the early morning, when the families woke up after a long and heavy sleep and for good reason: a product containing gas anesthetic violence was spilled into the rooms.

Another home-jacking, using the same modus operandi, dates back to last week, while a burglary in a villa also last week was committed in broad daylight this time, in the absence of the owners. A burglary attributed it seems to this team which operates in one and the same rural district of Aumelas, Le Mas de Blanc. You should know that this small village nestled in the heart of the garrigue, between Gignac and Cournonterral, on the eponymous plateau of Aumelas where wind turbines are located, is made up of a few dwellings around the town hall and many hamlets, including one which houses the church and another the castle, scattered over a large area.

The Mas de Blanc sector is close to the heart of the village and was impacted last summer by the mega fire that destroyed about a thousand hectares of vegetation between Gignac, Vendémian and Saint-Paul-et-Valmalle. The flames had been able to be diverted by the firefighters. But the inhabitants of Mas de Blanc had been very hot. These are villas spared by the fire which were visited, “gently”: the families did not hear the slightest noise of the intrusions, before being put to sleep with gas.

Two strange sightings

The thieves took their time: they stole vehicles, including an electric car and a 4×4 with keys found in houses, motocross bikes, quads, cell phones, electronic games, tablets, computers, etc. A raid in just ten days.

No one in the neighborhood saw or heard anything suspicious. However, last week, two strange but interesting observations should be exploited to the gendarmes of the company of Lodève: a resident was intrigued by the ride of three strangers who, visibly, spied on the comings and goings of owners of pavilions: it was in broad daylight and visibly, they were hardly discreet. But he only made a connection with these unusual presences when he learned of the existence of home-jackings. He provided a description of the suspects.

Another resident witnessed a strange scene: in the same week, this time at night, he came across three hooded individuals aboard a car, who were prowling in Aumelas, not very far from Mas de Blanc… He shared this detail with the gendarmes who wondered about the actions of a gang, in this isolated town, where traffic is almost zero at night, which is conducive to crime. Why this corner? Do any of the authors live or did he live in Aumelas? It is a hypothesis, but the investigators seek to support this track, as they seek if other identical defects were not committed in the department.

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Video surveillance

The lack of cameras video surveillance do not facilitate the mission of the gendarmes, especially since the thieves left only weak clues to police scientific technicians of the criminal identification cell. They acted with gloves. After these home-jackings which sow concern among the victims, the residents and the population of Aumelas, where they fear a return of burglars, some do not hide this Tuesday wanting to equip their villas with a video protection device and will ask to meet the mayor of the commune.

In the meantime, it’s a safe bet that the roads of the Aumelas plateau will be placed under discreet surveillance at night.

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