A pair of migrants from African countries was convicted by a French court following a violent crime spree in which they targeted victims carrying iPhones, according to reports.
Two 19-year-old males, one hailing from the Central African Republic and the other from the Republic of the Congo, were sentenced to 18 months in prison, with 10 months suspended, and banned from French territory for five years.
The men were responsible for at least three attacks and robberies in the commune of Bourges over a span of seven months between October of 2020 and May of 2021.
The thieves ambushed their marks and stole their smartphones.
In one case, they pepper-sprayed a victim in front of a 3-year-old child, and in others, they strangled or beat their prey.
However, one of the thieves lost his own cell phone during an assault and authorities used it to track him down.
The men claimed innocence, but victims and investigators were able to tie them to the crimes based on photos found on the lost phone.
"They deny the evidence," the prosecutor said. "These three thefts have in common that the violence was planned in advance, a violence with the aim of stealing cell phones."
"Here are two young people who decided to lie to defend themselves. It is their right, but they must assume the consequences and pay the price."
In addition to prison sentences and expulsions, the migrants have been ordered to pay 2,700 euros (~$3,000) to the victims.
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(PHOTO: boonchai wedmakawand / Getty Images)