‘Vol à la carte routière’ or ‘Road map’ supermarket thefts
Not new, but one of the popular scams going round at the moment, so be particularly vigilant when you visit the supermarket.
Thieves are targeting shoppers outside supermarkets throughout France, approaching as you unload your shopping into your boot, and waving a large road map in your face, pretending to ask directions.
In fact, usually working as a pair, they have probably already watched you put in your pin at the checkout, or cash point and memorised your PIN number.
As bullies and cowards do, they tend to prey on the elderly. women shopping alone or anyone who looks disorganised so take time at the checkout, even with a big queue behind you, to put away your purse or wallet, or close your bag.
Next, they follow you to your car and out comes the roadmap. As your vision is obscured, the accomplice is looking in your car for your bag, wallet or any valuables, particularly your credit card if they have managed to obtain the PIN earlier.
The Gendarmerie Nationale report a recent rise in these ‘road map thefts’ and advise shoppers to hide their PIN code with the other hand when paying in shops, to place bags, valuables and credit cards out of easy reach and preferably try and keep them with you, and to avoid giving directions in any suspicious circumstances.