"A well-oiled modus operandi, a kind of brainwashing", the deputy prosecutor of the Republic does not mince his words during the indictment. Some time later, the penalty drops: 24 months of detention, six of which are suspended, with a warrant of committal. A 19-year-old man living with her parents in La Verrière (Yvelines) was found guilty Tuesday by the Versailles judicial court of theft with usurpation of the quality of a person holding public authority.
If he denies having presented himself as a policeman in front of his victim, a pensioner living alone in a residence in Chesnay-Rocquencourt (Yvelines), near Versailles, this circumstance was taken into account in the judgment. He also had his 10-month suspended sentence revoked due to a previous conviction for transporting, possessing and using drugs in December 2022.
On June 27, 2023, around 16 p.m., the woman received a call, supposedly from her bank advisor. 790 euros would have been debited from his account requiring to block his card. The individual on the other end of the line puts her in touch with a certain "Monsieur Babin", who would be a policeman at the Versailles police station. He and the victim will stay on the phone... for almost 5 hours!
"He said I risked being abused by the thugs"
"I don't know how I lasted so long," she whispers to the hearing. He said that I risked being assaulted by the thugs, that four police officers were in plain clothes in the neighborhood to arrest them. At the request of this "Mr. Babin", she gathers her jewelry and valuables in a bag and waits for the agent who must come to her home in the evening.
Around 21 p.m., the defendant knocked on his door. At the helm, he gives his version. "I was asked for a service paid 100 euros on Telegram and I did it," he explains. I went upstairs, knocked, gave the code to the lady and she gave me the bag. I was given an appointment at La Celle-Saint-Cloud to give it to someone. I did not say I was a police officer. »
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The retiree is convinced, however. She also indicates that the thief would have stayed on the phone 15 minutes, at her home, with the famous "Mr. Babin". "I even offered him a coffee, I didn't understand at all what they were saying to each other," she continues. I gave him the bag, it's true, but I thought he was going to put my belongings in the safe place at the police station. When he left, he got another painting and left with it. The individual runs out of the building. It is clearly recognizable on CCTV footage.
The thief minimizes his role
But the scam doesn't stop there. The fake policeman on the phone asks the victim to gather all his assets in his accounts, and to make a transfer to Luxembourg. He will call her back at 9 a.m. the next morning to give her the bank details.
In the meantime, however, she has questions, and tells her loved ones. When she realizes that she has just been scammed, she lets her phone ring despite the 15 calls in the absence of "Mr. Babin". At 11 a.m. the day after the flight, she filed a complaint. The deception finally stops.
In this case, the Versailles prosecutor's office recalled the "seriousness of the facts, and the psychological trauma suffered by the victim". The defendant seemed to relativize his involvement. The president of the court was annoyed to be cut off, and confronted him with the inconsistencies of his speech, reminding the magistrates that he had denied all the facts during the investigation.