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Homeless Man Shot by LAPD Was Fake Frenchman

Charley Saturmin Robinet wasn't his real name
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2015 8:41 AM CST
Homeless Man Shot by LAPD Was Fake Frenchman
This February 2000 photo provided by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office shows the man who went by Charley Saturmin Robinet after his arrest for robbery.   (AP Photo/Ventura County Sheriff’s Office)

(Newser) – The homeless man fatally shot in a scuffle with police on LA's Skid Row on Sunday was identified as Charley Saturmin Robinet, a French citizen. But it turns out the real Robinet "is alive and in France," the French consul general in LA tells the Los Angeles Times. The now-dead LA man stole Robinet's identity and used it to get a French passport and enter the US in the late 1990s, Axel Cruau says: "He fooled a lot of people, including us, years ago." The strange part: French officials may have been fooled initially, but they ultimately figured things out because of a bank robbery. The man who stole Robinet's identity was convicted of robbing a Wells Fargo branch in 2000, and as he neared release in 2013, French officials stumbled upon the real Robinet in France.

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French authorities informed the US of the identity theft, but Cruau says he doesn't know what happened after that. The AP reports that the fake Robinet would typically have been deported after serving his sentence, but since he wasn't actually French, France wouldn't take him. The man spent six months in a halfway house in advance of his May 2014 release; a warrant was issued in January after he didn't report to his probation officer as required. In Sunday's incident, police were responding to reports of a robbery in LA when the scuffle occurred and the fake Robinet was killed, Heavy reports. (Read more police shooting stories.)

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