Police interrogated the Algerian suspect last month for his alleged involvement in multiple robberies.
Police in Clermont-Ferrand, central France, arrested last week two 17-year-olds of Moroccan and Algerian nationality for their suspected connection to a string of robberies.
French outlet La Montagne reported that the suspects robbed three women aged 72 to 96 between August 20 and August 27. In total, authorities believe the suspects were involved in a dozen robberies.
The two thieves allegedly snatched the women’s necklaces, sometimes violently, in the middle of the day, the source reported.
Of the three victims, two were designated incapable of working for up to four days after the attacks.
After security footage identified the thieves, police picked up the Moroccan and Algerian culprits on August 27.
While in police custody, they confessed to the robberies, although the Moroccan suspect claimed to only be involved in one incident.
The two minors face charges of violent theft and appeared before an investigating judge on the day of their arrest.
The Algerian suspect had previously been interrogated in July for his alleged involvement in multiple robberies. French police were working since then to catch him in the act.
Due to the Algerian’s record, the prosecution requested that he remain in police custody until his formal sentencing.
The Moroccan suspect, meanwhile, had a record of theft in other regions of France, according to La Montagne. The outlet did not specify whether the Moroccan remains in police custody.
Police in Clermont-Ferrand urged the community to remain vigilant in the face of such threats.
In October 2019, the Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) reported that Maghrebi nationalities account for nearly half of France’s non-European immigrant population.
Of France’s 4.1 million immigrants, 1.83 million have origins in the Maghreb.
Algerians make up France’s largest immigrant community. With 807,500 people, Algerians represent 20% of all non-EU nationals in France.
Moroccan immigrants are the second-largest non-EU nationality present in France, with 755,400 people, or 18.4% of the total immigrant population.
In 2018, between 300,000 and 400,000 Moroccans received visas for France. Moroccans are the largest foreign student community in the European country and the second-largest community of foreign-born doctors.
Moroccans are also the fourth most commonly deported nationality in France. The country deported more than 1,000 undocumented Moroccan migrants in 2018.