Retrieving stolen items in police possession

Last year my neighbour’s children broke into my property. They caused significant vandalism and stole two items. I called the police as soon as the alarm went off. Three of the children were arrested at the scene and two of the children managed to escape but were later arrested.

At the time of the robbery they confirmed that two items were stolen. My French was a bit rusty so I had difficulty communicating but I knew which items the policeman was referring to.

However, a few months later when I visited the police to ask them to return the stolen items they insisted that only one item has been stolen and that they couldn’t release it as it is currently in their possession as evidence.

Since the break-in over a year ago I have received no written contact from the police regarding the break-in, neither have I received any information on a trial or the return of my items.

I find it frustrating that now they insist only one item was stolen despite giving me a clear description of the other item that they now tell me they have no knowledge of. It’s only worth 100 euros but has sentimental value. The vandalism is far worse in the region of thousands. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

Did you give a signed statement at the time? Is there a procès verbal stating what happened and what was stolen? There should be a written record of every stage of a police enquiry.

I would make a formal complaint. That often works wonders in refreshing people”s memories!

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These children sound a nightmare. What else have they (and possibly their parents) done? How have relations been since?

Where’s the evidence log ? Normally, when the police communicate to victims of a crime, there should be a trace written down (or even an audio recording) of what was said to the victim over the phone.

At the time I wasn’t in France. I spoke to the police on the phone. My neighbour visited to assess the damage and he went down to the police station.
I then received a six-page document forwarded via email titled “COMPTE RENDU D’INFRACTION COMPLEMENTAIRE”.
It says
Butin: A Evaluer
Degats: A Evaluer

The last time I went down to the police station I submitted evidence from the CCTV and images of the damages and they told me that I simply have to wait until someone contacts me. I’ve tried to follow up but the police refuse to speak to me or discuss anything.

Is this the gendarmerie? If it is, bonne chance.

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Time to contact the Défenseur des Droits perhaps?