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Fake police stage carjackings on motorways near Paris
Fake police officers have staged 10 carjackings on motorways west of Paris in the last fortnight, making off with expensive cars, vans and cash and leading police to believe that a gang is operating in the area.
Seven cases in the Yvelines, around Versailles, and another three or so in neighbouring Val d'Oise have all used the same method.
The thieves attach a blue flashing light to their car and force a motorist to pull over onto the hard shoulder.
There they either physically attack the victim or persuade him or her to get out of the vehicle to open the boot and then drive off in the stolen car or van.
"Certain elements lead us to believe that there is connection between these different carjackings," Yvelines department public security director Jean-Marie Salanova told the AFP news agency.
The first such robbery took place on 7 May and the latest was on Saturday night.
Motorway police, video-surveillance and a gendarmerie helicopter have been mobilised to try to catch, or at least frighten off, the perpetrators.