French handbag thief gets an earful

When a Spanish couple on holiday in Avignon, France, stopped their car at traffic lights, two men forced open the passenger door and grabbed the woman's handbag. It would have been a common unsolved petty theft, had the desperate victim not managed to bit

The criminals got away with a mobile phone, identification and €120, but they didn't get to keep it for long.

The victims of the daylight robbery reported the crime to the local police station. Presenting the investigating officer a piece of folded tissue paper, the victim said, “Take this, you never know, it might be useful in your investigation.” The officer opened the tissue to find a piece of the thief's ear that the victim had bit off in the struggle for her handbag.

Demonstrating police work worthy of a CSI episode, the officer immediately sent the piece of cartilage and skin to the police labs for testing.

A DNA swab revealed it belonged to an 18-year-old local with a criminal history. He had been arrested two years previously in connection with a violent robbery.

The thief – noticeably missing part of his ear – was arrested on Tuesday, and at first claimed to have lost it in a street brawl. After further interrogation he confessed to the theft.

He said the pain had been so intense that he threw away the handbag without even taking the money inside.

He later gave the police information on two other thefts from tourists committed earlier in the year.

The trial is set for September, where the thief risks a real ear bashing from the judge!