A 28-year-old Algerian migrant who just arrived in France seven months ago has been convicted of threatening two victims with a boxcutter and robbing one woman last Friday in the Paris metro.
The two men were taken into custody on line 4 at Strasbourg Saint-Denis station after having committed the two attempted robberies and one theft.
Just days after his arrest, the Algerian, Amine D., was sentenced on Tuesday in Paris Criminal Court to a four-month prison sentence. Although in France for only seven months, the man is already well-known to the police for various crimes, including theft and property damage.
This incident began on line 2 at Anvers station. A policeman observed a couple of tourists struggling with two young people who had tried to rob them. One of the criminals pulled out a boxcutter, and threatened the victims while his accomplice fled. The policeman was alone and decided to shadow them after both suspects boarded the metro. Arriving in Barbes, the duo pulled out their cutter and tried to attack a woman. She managed to flee, and the thieves then jumped on metro line 4, according to French newspaper Le Parisien.
In the train, in Strasbourg Saint-Denis, as the bell rang announcing the closing of the doors, Amine snatched a telephone from the hands of a young woman, while his accomplice blocked the train doors to give him time to get out. This time, three policemen who were called to provide backup were waiting for them. They stopped Amine who then threw his boxcutter on the tracks. His accomplice tried to flee but was apprehended.
Released from prison three weeks ago
Both men were brought to court, but one of the suspects was a minor and brought before a juvenile judge. Information about his name and immigration status have not been released.
Amine, however, confessed to the theft in court.
“Yes, I stole that phone. But I was unarmed and I was alone. I have no choice because I have been on the street since my release from prison,” he said. The man had only been out of prison for three weeks after serving a four-month sentence for theft in the public transport system.
His lawyer said that Amine’s situation has to be taken into consideration since he has “disintegrated socially,” while the prosecutor stated that “this does not authorize him to terrorize metro passengers.”