In this image we see a SPOT-satellite view of Montpellier, France. It was in this town, where Abagnale (a French speaker) was living, that he was reported to French police. After his capture, Frank learned what it was like to live in a very old French prison. Photo by “Cnes - Spot Image.” Online via Wikimedia Commons; License: CC BY-SA 3.0


Staying one step ahead of the police was a lousy way to live his life, so Frank decided to settle down in the historic town of Montpellier, France—as Robert Monjo. He was twenty years old.

The place wasn't altogether unfamiliar, and he spoke French. His mother had been born in Oran (then a French "departement" in northern Algeria), and her parents still lived in the Montpellier area of southern France.

Four months later, unknown to Frank, an Air France flight attendant spotted him while he was shopping in Montpellier. As he got into his Renault, the stewardess—a woman whom Frank had dated—copied his license number and reported it to her captain who called the French police.

Frank was arrested at his local grocery store. At the end of a two-day trial, in which he had no defense, his French lawyer summed up Abagnale's predicament:

This young man will, in all probability, never see his native land for many, many years, and even when he does return home, he will return in chains and only to face prison there. I need not point out to this court the harshness of the prison life this young man will have to endure here. I ask the court to take that into account in setting a penalty. (Catch Me, page 225.)

"Harsh" was hardly descriptive of the life Abagnale would lead in Perpignan Prison, his next "home."

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5197stories and lessons created

Original Release: Nov 01, 2002

Updated Last Revision: Jul 01, 2019

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"CAUGHT - TEMPORARILY" AwesomeStories.com. Nov 01, 2002. May 26, 2020.
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