British expat in custody after confessing to 38 burglaries in rural France

David Chazan
The Charente river in Civray - www.alamy.com

A British expatriate was taken into custody after confessing to 38 burglaries in rural France in two-and-a-half years, often targeting holiday homes owned by fellow Britons.

The 51-year-old, described as unemployed, with no previous criminal record, was not named. He broke into houses around the market town of Civray, near La Rochelle, in the west of the country.

The area is popular with British expatriates and second home owners, attracted by relatively inexpensive property and good weather.

He is thought to have carried out most of the burglaries when the owners were absent. 

Gendarmes raided the man’s home in a village near Civray after being tipped off by neighbours.

Street cafe scene in Civray, France Credit: Brough Tomlinson/Alamy

They found nearly 200 items, including televisions, laptop computers, silver coins, tools and clothing.

A spokesman for the Montmorillon gendarmerie told the Nouvelle République newspaper: “He admitted that 90 per cent of the objects recovered were of criminal origin.”

Gendarmes checked burglaries reported since the man moved to the area in 2014 and concluded that “he could have been responsible for some 42 burglaries of main homes and holiday homes in Civray, Savigné and neighbouring villages,” the spokesman said.

The man denied committing all the burglaries but admitted 38 of them.

He now faces a trial and a possible prison sentence.

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