By: Sam Doak
July 3 2023
This video was filmed in California in early 2022.
On Tuesday, June 27, a teenager was killed after being confronted by police in the French suburb Nanterre. Since this incident, the country has witnessed large-scale protests and riots.
As civil unrest unfolded across France, social media users have shared a large amount of misattributed and unverified videos purportedly showing arson, violence, and looting in French cities. Paul Golding, leader of the British far-right party Britain First, was among the individuals, who took to Twitter to share a video of a store being robbed with the caption, “Immigrant hordes loot a jewellery shop in France. Where's the army? Where's the strong government response? #FranceRiots #FranceHasFallen #FranceOnFire (sic).”
However, we found that the video in question predates the riots and was filmed in California, U.S.A.
A sign displaying the name of the jewelry shop being robbed is visible in the video shared by Golding. A search on Google reveals that it is part of a chain called ‘Prestigio Jewelers’ that has numerous locations across California. A search for news reports concerning a robbery at a store owned by the chain revealed news coverage by ABC 7 describing an incident that occurred in February 2022 at Merced Mall. While the footage in the report was shot from a different angle, we could match details that confirmed that it was the same location.
Using a more specific search, incorporating details from ABC7 coverage, Logically Facts was able to find a Facebook post from February 10, 2022, by Merced Police Department. We also came across another post, which carried the name of a TikTok handle 'macielsbodyjewelry.' Searching for this account on TikTok, we determined that it was the first to post this video, doing so on February 9, 2022.
Having found the video and details of the events shown, we have concluded that the video shared by Golding shows a robbery that occurred at the Merced Mall, California in February 2022.
This video was not recorded in France and has nothing to do with the recent riots. From publicly available news coverage and social media posts, it is possible to determine that it shows a robbery that occurred in California in early 2022. This claim has therefore been marked as false.