Adults who ordered children to commit dozens of robberies have been sentenced to jail terms in France, after a court found members of three Croatian Roma families guilty of using the kids to carry out the crimes.
The court convicted 26 members of three families for the crimes, handing down sentences of between two and eight years in prison.
From the Agence France-Presse:
"Most of the thefts were carried out by children as young as 10. The evidence against the families was based on the tapped phone calls of 120 suspects which police said had revealed a Mafia-style structure in which clan chiefs were supported by a network of subordinate captains and lieutenants, who in turn ran the children at the bottom of the pyramid."
The news agency adds that the head of the scheme is believed to be a woman, 66, who will face a separate trial. The group was also accused of engaging in human trafficking, but those charges were rejected by the court.