French Thieves Find Wigs Useful For Train Heists

The thefts lasted for several years

Not the stuff of the next "Ocean's 11" sequel, no.
Beth Desrosiers/Unsplash

If you watch enough heist movies or television shows, you’ve probably been left with a solid sense of how making off with something valuable might work. From Ocean’s 11 to Lupin and beyond, there are a few common elements — a genius organizer, a meticulously rehearsed series of actions and countless plans for nearly every contingency that might arise.

Not everything you see on screen reflects how things go in the real world, however. And the news of a series of thefts from the first class compartment of a French train route helps to illustrate the gulf between fiction and fact. In some cases, it turns out, all you need to accomplish a lucrative heist is a selection of wigs.

That’s the big takeaway from a report by Angelique Chrisafis at The Guardian. The article focuses on what authorities believe to be a three-man team that regularly stole from the first-class compartments in high-speed trains making their way across France. And it sounds like the thieves have been at this since at least 2019.

Their disguises included an assortment of wigs — not exactly the most high-tech of heist gear, but evidently an effective choice. Chrisafis notes that law enforcement found “150 pieces of luggage, 170 wallets, hundreds of pairs of sunglasses, fountain pens, camera equipment, gadgets and expensive shoes” in a Marseille apartment that was evidently being used by the thieves — along with €137,000 in cash.

The Guardian notes that the three men involved with the thefts have been charged and are now awaiting trial.

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