Riviera armed robberies doubled last year, from 70 to 140. The spectacular jewel heists make the news, but the real increase in crime in Nice was in the much less glamorous variety of corner store hold-ups perpetrated by down-on-their-luck losers. The Nice-Matin interviewed one: ‘Christophe’, a 36-year-old ex-con with 40 local armed robberies to his credit. Admitting that his improvised stick-ups were often a comedy of errors, he defends himself in that no one was ever hurt. With a new perspective since having a child last year, he now wants to dissuade others from following in his ways… he says he was a complete idiot and never even considered the risks or consequences.
Admittedly, it’s a disturbing trend, but to help keep it in perspective, armed robberies are still relatively rare here in comparison to the US, where hold ups are so common that a well-worn bartender joke is to pull down the corkscrew of a wine opener and ask, “what’s this?”
Answer: A cashier at the 7-Eleven.
Nice-Matin: Inquietante explosion des braquages sur la Cote d’azur