• Germany edition
 
Criminal Cookie Monster blackmails biscuit firm
Photo: DPA

Criminal Cookie Monster blackmails biscuit firm

Published: 30 Jan 2013 12:05 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Jan 2013 12:05 GMT+01:00

The famous golden Leibniz biscuit which has hung outside the Bahlsen headquarters in Hannover since 1913 was stolen at the weekend, leaving police and managers at a loss. Company chairman Werner M. Bahlsen put up a €1,000 reward for information leading to its recovery.

After allowing investigators to work up an appetite, the culprit has got in touch - in time-honoured fashion with a photo of the booty, and a demand note made up of cut-out letters from newspapers.

The Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung (HAZ) received a letter on Tuesday replete with everything any self-respecting biscuit kidnapper could think of.

The photo shows a person wearing a full suit of the Sesame Street character Cookie Monster, holding the large golden Leibniz biscuit and seeming to take a bite, while the lengthy letter lays out a series of demands.

"I have the biscuit!" it starts off triumphantly. "You want it and therefore you want on one day in February, to give biscuits to all the children in Bult hospital. But those with milk chocolate, not those with dark chocolate and not those without chocolate. And a golden biscuit for the child cancer ward."

The €1,000 being offered as a reward for the return of the mascot should be donated to the animal shelter in the Langenhagen area of the city, the letter reads.

"This is serious!" it continues. "Otherwise it will end up with Oscar [the Grouch] in the dustbin, really!!!"

The police at least are taking the matter very seriously, Bahlsen spokeswoman Jacobe Heers told the HAZ. "We will get the letter checked by our experts to see if it is genuine and plausible."

Bahlsen denied any speculation that the entire affair could be a publicity stunt. "It is not a marketing action by our company, no way," a spokeswoman said.

The HAZ asked a local photography expert whether the photo could be a fake. "Theoretically you could put something like this together on a computer," said Frank Westphal. "But in this case I don't believe that someone has done that." He said a computer-generated image would have been better quality.

"But whether the biscuit in the photo is the actual golden Bahlsen biscuit, of course I don't know," he added.

And the Bult children's hospital said they had no complaints about the generosity of the biscuit company. "One must not forget that this is theft and blackmail," said hospital spokesman Björn-Oliver Bönsch.

"Bahlsen has already done a lot for us - they do not need to be pushed like this."

One woman said she thought the idea was brilliant. Erika Klein, who runs a youth hostel in Hannover offered on the HAZ comment page to pay the ransom amount to the animal shelter.

"I think the idea is wonderful," she told The Local. "Of course I'm serious about paying the ransom myself, for such a great idea - and of course I would get the biscuits for the children too. I don't think the company will pay, and I'm sure the police will tell them not to pay, but I think the stunt is inspired."

Hannah Cleaver

hannah.cleaver@thelocal.com

twitter.com/hannahcleaver2

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

13:11 January 30, 2013 by Firmino
€1,000 reward? Being a bit stingy there....
13:31 January 30, 2013 by ichbines
well the cookie monster definitely has curvy hips!
15:42 January 30, 2013 by Bulldawg82
Go Cookie Monster!!!!
19:19 January 30, 2013 by Bigfoot76
I am sure Oscar the Grouch put him up to it. I never liked that green trash loving monster with an attitude. He is trouble.
00:53 January 31, 2013 by RainerL
Obviously these People or Person are not employed or hold a steady Job hence having time to do STUPID things. Pity; National Service perhaps would have tought them a little self respect and for others and things too.
07:25 February 3, 2013 by misschrissy
Sounds like a university prank to me
Today's headlines
Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling
Italy's National Partisans' Association welcomed the court decision. Photo: DPA

Berlin slams Italy Nazi claims court ruling

Italy's constitutional court has ruled that victims of Nazi-era war crimes can sue Germany in Italian courts, rejecting a UN ruling and provoking a strong reaction from Berlin on Friday. READ  

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall
Photo: Paul Sullivan

Expats reveal another side of Berlin Wall

Two expats who walked the Mauerweg - the 160-kilometre trail that runs the length of the former Berlin Wall - have written a book about forgotten aspects of its past and present. READ  

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat
Photo: DPA

Karstadt closes six stores to stay afloat

Germany's biggest department store chain Karstadt will close at least six stores, putting around 2,000 jobs at risk, in a drastic bid by its new boss to return it to profit. READ  

Quiz
How well do you know Germany?
Photos: DPA/Shutterstock

How well do you know Germany?

Do you know your Saxony facts from your Saxony-Anhalt ones? Test your knowledge of Germany's federal states in The Local's quiz. READ  

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal
Pollution from a coal-fired power station in Frimmersdorf, North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

Climate chief hails Bonn greenhouse gas deal

The UN's climate chief hailed a European agreement in Bonn on greenhouse gases on Friday as providing "valuable momentum" for a world pact to be inked in Paris next year. READ  

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth
Photo: DPA

Germany gets €780m EU rebate for poor growth

Germany will get an early Christmas present of around €779 million from the EU, thanks to weaker than expected GDP growth. READ  

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told
Photo: DPA

Stay inside after blast, Ludwigshafen told

It will take several days to find out what caused a massive explosion on Thursday which rocked a town on the Rhine, killing a builder and injuring 26 others. READ  

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'
An NH90 helicopter. Photo: DPA

German helicopter fleet 'not fit for Nato'

Germany's fleet of NH90 helicopters is undergoing engineering checks after one of them suffered a serious engine failure, in the latest blow to the country's military capabilities. READ  

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m
Rainer Schwarz at a court hearing in September into the case. Photo: DPA

Ex-boss of Berlin Airport farce gets €1.2m

The man who was blamed for Berlin's miserable attempt to build a new airport must be paid more than €1 million - after being fired. READ  

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Kurds watching the attack on Kobane. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier challenges UN over Isis gas reports

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier pressed UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon to bring possible poison gas use by Isis in Iraq before the Security Council. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Politics
Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: Huge explosion rocks Ludwigshafen
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
Which high school cliche is your German city?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Storm hits southern Germany
Sponsored Article
An international school unlike any other : School on the Rhine
Photo: Fitzpatrick family
Society
'We still don't know what happened to Matthew'
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
Special Report: Hope and chaos at Munich's refugee shelters
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,532
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd