[Hpn] Homeless woman's bin-bags hid secret riches

William C. Tinker wtinker@verizon.net
Fri, 13 Jul 2007 08:11:12 -0400


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 Fri 13 Jul 2007=20

Homeless woman's bin-bags hid secret riches
SUSAN BELL IN PARIS=20
NONE of the passers-by who saw the elaborately made-up homeless woman =
affectionately known by locals as "La Princesse" ever guessed that the =
suitcases and bin-bags which surrounded her on a Paris pavement =
concealed 40,000.=20

The taciturn woman was a familiar sight to her well-to-do neighbours in =
the 15th Arrondissement where she had rarely moved from her chosen spot =
on a grating beneath the arcades of the Rue Linois since taking up =
residence in 1982.=20

It was not until last week when officials stepped in to move the =
65-year-old from her pavement home because of building work in the =
street, that her secret stash was discovered.=20

"Some wads of bills had been meticulously folded up in paper =
handkerchiefs and mixed in with piles of rubbish. As for the coins they =
were heaped into bags and plastic bottles," said a spokesman for the =
Brigade to Assist People Without Shelter, the police body which moved =
her to a homeless unit in the suburb of Nanterre.=20

Officers had only opened her bags because they were surprised at how =
heavy they were. "Officials have been mobilised to count and recount the =
bills and clean the dirty coins. It is a gigantic job. This evening we =
are up to 30,000, but there is still more," a spokesman said.=20

La Princesse has refused to reveal where the money came from and the =
origin of her nest egg remained a mystery yesterday. French media =
speculated that it might represent an inheritance or the savings from 25 =
years of handouts. However, neighbours in Rue Linois said she rarely =
accepted charity.=20

Relatives in the Brittany town of Fousenant said the woman sometimes =
would stay in her dead parents' house midway between the town and the =
beach. "But she spent most of her time wandering through the streets =
drunk and sometimes we would find her fallen in the ditch by the =
roadside," one added.

This article:  =
http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=3D1091392007

Last updated: 13-Jul-07=20

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<DIV id=3Dpublication><A=20
href=3D"http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/"></A>&nbsp;<SPAN>Fri 13 Jul =
2007</SPAN>=20
</DIV>
<DIV class=3Dscreen>&nbsp;</DIV>
<H2>Homeless woman's bin-bags hid secret riches</H2>
<DIV id=3Dbyline><SPAN class=3Dname>SUSAN BELL</SPAN> <SPAN =
class=3Dtitle>IN=20
PARIS</SPAN> </DIV>
<P>NONE of the passers-by who saw the elaborately made-up homeless woman =

affectionately known by locals as "La Princesse" ever guessed that the =
suitcases=20
and bin-bags which surrounded her on a Paris pavement concealed 40,000. =
</P>
<P>The taciturn woman was a familiar sight to her well-to-do neighbours =
in the=20
15th Arrondissement where she had rarely moved from her chosen spot on a =
grating=20
beneath the arcades of the Rue Linois since taking up residence in 1982. =
</P>
<DIV id=3Dinline250=20
style=3D"DISPLAY: inline; FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 3px 0px 0px 8px; =
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target=3D_blank></A></DIV>
<P>It was not until last week when officials stepped in to move the =
65-year-old=20
from her pavement home because of building work in the street, that her =
secret=20
stash was discovered. </P>
<P>"Some wads of bills had been meticulously folded up in paper =
handkerchiefs=20
and mixed in with piles of rubbish. As for the coins they were heaped =
into bags=20
and plastic bottles," said a spokesman for the Brigade to Assist People =
Without=20
Shelter, the police body which moved her to a homeless unit in the =
suburb of=20
Nanterre. </P>
<P>Officers had only opened her bags because they were surprised at how =
heavy=20
they were. "Officials have been mobilised to count and recount the bills =
and=20
clean the dirty coins. It is a gigantic job. This evening we are up to =
30,000,=20
but there is still more," a spokesman said. </P>
<P>La Princesse has refused to reveal where the money came from and the =
origin=20
of her nest egg remained a mystery yesterday. French media speculated =
that it=20
might represent an inheritance or the savings from 25 years of handouts. =

However, neighbours in Rue Linois said she rarely accepted charity. </P>
<P>Relatives in the Brittany town of Fousenant said the woman sometimes =
would=20
stay in her dead parents' house midway between the town and the beach. =
"But she=20
spent most of her time wandering through the streets drunk and sometimes =
we=20
would find her fallen in the ditch by the roadside," one added.</P>
<P class=3Dprint><STRONG>This article:</STRONG>&nbsp; <A=20
href=3D"http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=3D1091392007=
">http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=3D1091392007</A></=
P>
<P id=3Dupdated><STRONG>Last updated:</STRONG> 13-Jul-07 =
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