….a light look at the latest local news

With Caroline Manson

Jewellery muggers in Perpignan – Young muggers have been targeting mainly elderly people in Perpignan, and ripping off their necklacess. The most recent case was this Sunday morning when a 70 year old lady was confronted by 2 teenagers who spun her around, ripped off her gold chain and fled. Less than 10 minutes later a 75 year old lady, walking on Rue du Castillet had her necklace torn from around her neck, while at the same time they attempted to steal her purse. During the violent struggle the lady was thrown against a parked car but managed to hang onto her property. The youths (from Barcelona) were quickly arrested, and claimed that they had just entered France and had an urgent need for money. As large amounts of cash were found in their pockets, they have been referred to the juvenile court.

Police solve 3 crimes for the price of 1 – Last Wednesday a burglar entered the home of an 80 year old man in the Saint-Jacques area of Perpignan, and hit him around the head with a wooden baton so violently that he had to be rushed to hospital. Thanks to a detailed description the police quickly arrested a 27 year old man and remanded him in custody. The violence of the crime corresponded with another recent incident in which a 60 year old man had been kicked in the face by a robber who had stolen his bag. CCTV camera images confirmed that it was the same perpetrator. And shortly afterwards the same camera showed the robber entering a building and coming out a few moments later with a large flat-screen tv. The man won’t have the pleasure of watching it as he has been locked up pending trial.

Campsite sued for discrimination – 15 gypsy families from the Saint-Jacques area of Perpignan have joined forces to sue a 5 star campsite in Argelès after their holiday was abruptly cancelled. The families had taken advantage of a ‘flash sale’ in May and paid for a week’s stay at the end of June, but a few hours before their departure, an email informed them that their stay was cancelled because a previous group had caused serious disruptions on the campsite.

High-speed chase on Motorway – Speed patrol police on the Spanish side of the motorway spotted 3 cars travelling at extremely high speed, and immediately suspected it was a ‘Go-Fast’ – where drug traffickers use powerful cars to ‘import’ cannabis from Morocco to Northern Europe. After several hours of ‘chase’ where the traffickers zig-zagged across the motorway and rammed police cars, they were eventually caught – and 680kg of cannabis (resale value estimated at more than 3 million euros) was discovered. The drivers were all young men from Perpignan.


Drivers illegally using Millas crossing – 7 months after the tragic accident on the level crossing in Millas where 6 children died after a school bus was hit by a train, the D916 road is still officially ‘closed’ for survey purposes. Local producers say they are suffering because the detour takes 2 ½ hours, and the detour road is unsuitable for lorries. The ‘Route Barrée’ sign has been effaced and the bollards displaced (not by the council), allowing for vehicles to pass on one side.

7 men overboard – A boat sailing from Argeles to Collioure suddenly caught fire for no apparent reason at 17.30 last Saturday. The 7 survivors were rescued by another boat and transported to safety in the port of St Cyprien.

And finally …..

The pompiers narrowly avoided being in the running for ‘best firework display of the weekend’ when they were called to the car park of a hotel in Rivesaltes to investigate the cause of smoke coming from a lorry. They had no idea that the lorry was carrying a cargo of fire-crackers and fireworks, and so they began the task of trying to open the container of the lorry with a metal grinder…. Luckily they soon realized what was in the lorry, stopped their work and contacted the police and bomb disposal squad for advice. By the time they had finished establishing a safety fence around the truck, the police had managed to track down the driver of the lorry, who just happened to be asleep in the hotel. He was an employee of the fireworks company and was able to guide and assist the pompiers as they investigated the cause of the smoke.

Caroline Manson is an independent Property Consultant – for advice on buying, selling, renting or renovating, don’t hesitate to contact her at

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