We’re no strangers to weird stories here on OC, but this one’s a bit too weird even for us. A French burglar intentionally left traces of DNA all over the crime scene just so he would end up in prison and watch encrypted TV channel Canal+ for free.
A monthly subscription to French premium television channel Canal+ costs around 10 euros ($11), but inmates in French prisons can apparently watch it for free, which was apparently a good enough reason for an ex-con to commit a crime and get himself caught. Over the course of the summer, the unnamed 25-year-old man committed a series of burglaries in the Toulouse suburb of Colomiers, but there was something about his modus operandi that left investigators scratching their heads. He left traces of saliva over the crime scenes, as if he wanted his DNA to be identified.
It turns out that the policemen’s suspicions were right, as the criminal admitted that he had spit all over the homes he had broken into hoping that the police would check for DNA. On September 2nd, during a hearing before the Criminal Court, the burglar loudly proclaimed that he wanted to go back to prison so he could watch Canal+, which shocked even his lawyer.
“People who say that they prefer prison to the street are quite common, but this is probably the first time I’ve defended a client who wants to go to jail to watch adult programs,” Delphine Reynaud-Aymard, the defendant’s lawyer, told Toulouse News.
French media contacted a prison officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, and asked him how easy it is to watch Canal+ behind bars. Apparently, the burglar has a point, it’s cheaper or even free to watch the premium TV channel in prison, while regular consumers have to pay for it.
“Canal + has been available in prison for many years. With the current overcrowding in Seysses or Muret [French prisons], there can be two or three inmates per cell, and if one pays, the others benefit. The administration can also pay the inmates’ subscription in exchange for some work in the prison, such as cleaning communal areas,” the prison officer said. “Also, institutions run by the Department of Justice are so understaffed that sometimes the inmates pay nothing for months … because they are not asked for anything!”
The burglar’s lawyer told the court that he suffers from psychiatric conditions, and that when she last defended him he said he preferred freedom to prison. The court asked for a psychiatric assessment before a verdict is cast, on September 17.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen people commit crimes just to go to prison. A few years ago we wrote about a guy who tried to rob a bank just so he could get caught and get away from his wife, and earlier this year we wrote about a Florida man who told police he would rather go to jail than home to his wife. TV channel subscription is definitely a first, though.