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16 people on trial for stealing goods from moving HGVs in France

Gang members allegedly jumped from a car onto the back of the lorries as they were being driven at high-speed along motorways

The thefts were conducted at high speed behind HGVs on motorways across France Pic: Milos Muller / Shutterstock

Thieves who allegedly stole €1.5million worth of goods by jumping off cars onto HGVs as they were being driven at speed on motorways are set to be judged in court tomorrow (April 21).

The court hearings began yesterday (April 19) in Paris, with 16 people from Romania accused. 

Police images, which were captured by a van camera, appear to show the suspects driving behind HGVs, and, while still moving at 90km/h, and without the driver knowing, jumping onto the lorry and breaking into the cargo to steal goods inside.

They are also accused of using a converted van with a special contraption designed to steal even larger goods.

Around 15 such thefts were recorded by French authorities across the country between 2018 and 2019, with police following the gang over several months before dismantling it in late 2019.

Goods worth an estimated €1.5million are suspected of being stolen, including IT equipment, luxury cosmetics, and perfume.

The perpetrators risk up to eight years in jail if found guilty, despite defence lawyer Benjamin Bohbot saying that this would be too strong a punishment as the crime involved “no violence, no weapons, no aggression, no threats”.

The accused are expected to be judged tomorrow. 

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