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French boulangerie bandit has a weakness for croissants

December 21, 2011 | 11:48 am

REPORTING FROM PARIS –- French police are on the hunt for a “serial” croissant thief.

In the last 10 days, a man believed to be in his 40s has robbed five boulangeries, or traditional French bakeries, in the Hauts-de-Seine region west of Paris, according to police.

But instead of asking for the contents of the cash register, this thief goes for the buttery baked goods.

In every robbery, he uses the same technique: calmly orders a generous helping of croissants, pains au chocolats and a few other viennoiserie, or baked goods. When it comes time to pay, he brandishes what is believed to be a fake gun.

Then he grabs his breakfast and runs out the door.

The total value of all five robberies comes to under $92 and no one has been injured. Nevertheless, the man the French press has called the “serial chocolate croissant thief” could face a prison sentence if caught.

“Whatever the nature of the weapon ... it’s an armed robbery,” said local officer Emmanuel Cravello in an interview with French media group M6.fr.

Augusto Dos Santos, a baker and croissant thief victim, told French reporters he has no problem giving away free food every now and then if someone really needs it.  In fact, if the thief had only asked, “We’d have said, ‘Take them!’” he said.

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-- Devorah Lauter

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