Any advice 😂

We have been restoring a french house for 6 years now all complete we had a local man and lady that worked at the house full and part time and paid through the Cesu .Now work complete we asked to reduce hours as only gardening required which was reluctantly agreed. At Christmas we realised that work was not being done as expected and we had made payments as usual. We asked for a record of work carried out which was not forthcoming . We decided to return to France unannounced to find a car on the drive the entire contents of the storage area had been taken. Our bank card had been used to make purchases and expensive gardening equipment taken. We requested he return the items which he has yet to do. We returned to the UK having installed some CCTV cameras . We got a call a few days later to say the house had been burgled 10k of personal items taken burglar on camera but not identified Police have been great. Our experience of trusting people wiped out and our tranquil life in France compromised Is it me !!

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How sad, hope things work out.

What a dreadful situation. I hope that they police track down the culprits and recover your losses for you.

Really sorry to hear this. Sometimes one has to learn who is trustworthy the hard way. :worried:

Just wondering… I know it’s a horrible dilemma…
Did you contact the Police when you returned unexpectedly and found your stuff had been taken and your bank card used illegally… ???

did you contact your Bank…

Does anyone in authority know that this had happened, before the burglary ??

As Chateau said

I would guess so.

It sounded like the police were involved after the burglary… not before…

Perhaps I’m totally misunderstanding the original Post…
I’ll leave you all to mull things over.

We informed the police after the burglary about the prior issues, We had already emailed him to return items taken from the house he claimed they were his initially !!! We asked again and have heard nothing since I have informed the police as much as possible It’s only when we looked into purchases made on our card that we realised the issue they were fuel and garden parts (now disappeared) so we assumed they were ok but obviously not for us . We had given him a card so really it’s our own fault as the Bank would say we gave him permission I think that would be a difficult one sadly.

Well, yes. But the items still belong to you, so if they have been relocated off your property and are not being returned on request I’d say that amounted to theft.

But not the bank’s problem.

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Oh no how ghastly :worried:

Reading with absolute horror😱 So so very sorry for you.

After my experience with a local builder, I also learned the hard way. Trusted the guy implicitly and he took complete advantage. Now the pendulum’s swung in completely the opposite direction - don’t trust anyone until they’ve well and truly earnt it. I know it’s tough, but I consoled myself with the fact that some people have to endure far worse situations.

Years ago in the local village a local guy conned a German resident out of his complete savings. The German guy was elderly and later died of a heart attack, which many thought was as a direct result of the stress caused by the incident. Absolutely terrible how these folks can do such things.

It is very sad but British second home owners of large properties are sometimes regarded as having more money than sense and are seen as fair game. Do not let it spoil your dream and do not let it make you suspicious of everybody you meet, but just make sure your back is covered in the future. Nowhere is crime free. Take the same precautions you probably would in your home country, do not allow access to your bank account to people that you do not know well and that you are not 100 per cent confident of. Have good security and burglar alarms at your property if you leave valuables there when you are away.


Not much help now, but perhaps for a future occasion and for others you can consider laying a “main courant” at the police station. It’s not a formal complaint, and it is not investigated or transmitted to the person complained about but serves as the start of proof if things escalate.

And then if things escalate the police will take it more seriously, and in a tit for tat situation where it’s your word against theirs it helps to show prior process.

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Which part of France are you situated ?

Horrible experience which does happen. When we first started in France, we took on a labourer and after a few months we had a call from the absent owners who had arrived to say some of their antique bits and pieces were missing but the house had not been broken into. Anyhow I got the gendarmes round to take a look and the owners made a complaint. Some time later, we were informed that certain items had been discovered in local depot vente outlets and the gendarmes had got a description of the person who took them in…was our labourer. Turned out he had taken the house key when OH wasn’t looking and made a copy and gone back during the night. Don’t know what happened next as he left us with no explaination and the job was finished with no more trouble. The law is quite secretive here releasing names and cases in the papers and we also discovered he was married to a woman from one of the biggest family of thieves in the nearby town so had obviously fallen under their spell as he seemed a nice bloke.

Generally that is a given if you are win peoples confidence.

Hello Peter just South of Toulouse.

Thank you Jane that is really good to know I’m going to email the Police contact I have to ask her to make the note where I raised it with them just so its on record I have the invoices and details of money leaving the account.I’m not sure how seriously they were taking the previous issue more that recovering some of our belongings which is equally important.

I believe they got DNA and some prints.

Thank you again


Thats so sad to hear.