HELP NEEDED, budding detectives need apply

Does anyone live in tours who might be able to help me on this?

Last week my car was pranged up the rear end, near some traffic lights at a busy bridge in Tours, by a very concerned, if distracted, well dressed, nicely spoken middle aged french couple in their car. All concern and co-operation, we all pulled over and swapped addresses as no-one was hurt and we were on the way to take a friend to catch a plane, so unable to swap "constat" details until later, 4pm, at their place in Tours. The driver admitted responsibility immediately and explained the stages involved in sorting insurance out.

Turns out, after a 2 hr wait outside the flat, it wasn't their place at all. Nor was the name nor the telephone number that the driver wrote down for me. I should have acted on instinct when he claimed he didn't have his papers with him. But I was more worried about getting my friend to her plane on time. The poor woman had already missed her outward flight and had to delay her holiday and pay twice. What a dummy am I?

The damadge was just a rear light, but it's the principal that irks me most. I intend to take it to the gendarmerie in Tours. My french insurance company have kindly supplied the real name address and telephone number for the driver, who is ignoring my calls and the constat form that the insurance co. have sent him.

What I need is a photo of his car with the damadged area and the number plate visible, so that if he decides to argue with me, I can show him or the gendarmes/court, that his car damadge matches mine. I'm concerned that he will take his car for repair quickly, leaving no trace, ignoring me and all I will be left with is my witness who lives in wales.

I live 100k away, so I'm hoping for a local willing volunteer who doesn't mind being an amateur detective for an hour or so. Address within 10 mins walk of La gare, Tours.

message me for details

All sympathy gratefully received.

PS, added next day

After writing this blog, I felt instantly releived, so was spurred to action. Shoes on, coat halfway on, on my way to report this to my local gendarmerie, my blokey phoned to say

" please meet me up at the workshop and go to the gendarmerie on the way, because it's been robbed, again"...............................................

sorry I am unable to approve comments for some technical reason, thanks to everyone for input I am working on the glitch and hopefully all the comments will appear soon.It's happened on another blog of mine too

Well done Jo....the perpetrator has been caught...excellent news....and not insured either. Cant you get a quote for the entire job....and have him pay for that? is it not possible to get the work done and the garage wait for the payment? or at least get the garage to quote for everything bar fitting the exhaust, but for supplying it? I would make sure he pays for the lot....what an unpleasant man. And yes...I would def. report him....if you had been injured and your car written off...what then?

yes Carol, it's the Gendarmes who are trained and work for the army and police nationale for government and police municipale for the region s or individual mairie. Confusing or what?

Anyway THE GOOD NEWS is, that after that trip to the police municipale and Gendarmerie, when I was deciding to go to the Police Nationale in Tours to try out ,the third service, I had a call from the insurance agent. The guilty driver has been in touch with my agent and admitted having no insurance. To avoid the inevitable charges of doing it through the proper insurance channel, he is offerring to pay the garage direct and my agent has asked me to get a quote from the garage. I have added a replacement of the rear exhaust which also needs doing, as my compensation. BUT, we need my van to deliver stoves next week and the delay has meant we may have to fit the exhaust ourselves before payment is received. So despite his offer, he's still managing to cause problems for us and I feel like reporting him and waiting until the courts sort him out.

What would eveyone else do?

One or other...police or gendarmes are I think, connected to the army?

just off to the local police in our town of Chauvigny, apparently, the gendarmes are mainly for countryside issues, and the police are who to approach if it's in wonder I had so much trouble looking for the gendarmerie in tours, I should have googled "police tours"

I've only really ever seen the gendarmes on the roads because I live in the countryside, so I was under the impression that gendarmes usually deal with traffic issues, but apparently it's not a task distinction at all it's more geographical and training and working conditions that separates them.

CCTV! good many useful helpful ideas....I'm printing this off tokeep on my dashbord




Thanks to everyone for the advice and support, I feel much better. So many comments so quickly! Carol, it's a blog post, so I had to approve them all first.

I felt really gullable and ill prepared, having not stopped in the road and used my phone to take a photo of the accident, the driver and his license and when he said he'd left his documents at home I should have been warned and insisted on seeing his green tax ticket. I was shocked and totally taken in by their concerned, smooth talking manner. Like I said, I was also more worried about getting my pal to the airport.

It was a very busy junction and my first thought was " get us both out of the way so we can swap details quickly".

To the gentleman who offered to do this for a "small fee, expenses only", I took your comment off because you gave your email address. Also, I'm sorry but I need to try and find a willing volunteer who lives or works nearby. I hardly have the resources to pay for petrol to Tours myself, otherwise I would not need to ask for help. If I don't find anyone local, I think I will risk it and travel up there myself to visit the address and the local gendarmerie.

I will, if I can find the car, try to get a sample of the paintwork if it's possible, and might visit the gendarmerie first to tell them what I'm up to. I might ask them to do it for me, or come with me.

I feel the driver may be a criminal anyway, since he's listed as an estate agent. Offence to estate agents intended:)

Yes, it is fraudulent and coincidentaly, when I moved to France, my pal/witness said "don't trust any french men, they'll cheat you and laugh in your face!" I told her she was being racist and she said not at all, she'd never met a frenchman, but she knew several pub clients who lived and traded with the French and all say that cheating is considered a hobby and a social plus point by many frenchmen.

By the way, I was on the way to my local gendarmerie, after posting this yesterday, when my blokey phoned to say "please go to the gendarmerie, because our workshop has been robbed, again".........................

Make sure that you save any paint flakes from the car of the other party in case you have to threaten to go to court.
You have to be tough so yes you should go to the Police and file as many charges as possible. Building a file as I call it is an essential part of winning.
Include possible neck damage…post traumatic stress costs. Also push your insurance company to claim.

Don’t get stressed about it…make a game of it as you seem to be doing, so the miscreants get the stress.


Sorry that this has happened to you. We dont live in Tours but if we did we would be the first people on it . Having just had a blameless accident ourselves where we were actually stopped at traffic lights and some idiot on the phone careered up the back anyway if you are ever over near Carcassonne drop us a line and come in for a coffee to commiserate.

Always a good reason for carrying a camera in the car and taking pictures at the time…

If it was at a red light in the town would there not be even maybe a CCTV Camera that could have fimed it. You could ask at the mairie if there is one in that area then ask the gendarmerie nationale permission to see it.

That being said , ask your friend in wales for a witness statement , preferably in Franch, with a photo copy of her passport too .. that'll move things along ...

Of course , If there is paint from his car on yours , the Gendarmes can do a forensic check too ... but yes the photo will do nicely "porte plainte" Asap though , these guys work in a mysteriously slow way ...

Did you have any witnesses - other than your passenger? I would go to the gendarmes and get them to look at his car.....

why are comments not coming up on this thread?

After living over 30 years in France, and without wishing to sound 'francophobe'...the French are an incredibly dishonest and jealous people..just an observation, my opinion...bon chance...

Can't help sorry

Just to remind us all, if you do have a bump TAKE PHOTOS ON THE SPOT, the cars, the damage, any skidmarks, the other driver.

Oh this must be so galling for you! my sympathies....I really wish I lived near Tours...I would love to do this... right up my street.....hope someone offers Jo and you can sort this soon.