• 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
North braces for storms and floods
Cars waiting to be loaded onto the ferry at Bremerhaven, Lower Saxony, were caught in flooding on Wendnesday. Photo: DPA

North braces for storms and floods

UPDATE: The remnants of hurricane Gonzalo have drifted across the Atlantic and are now threatening North German cities with flooding, forecasters warned on Wednesday. The news followed a night of accidents caused by heavy winds in southern Germany. READ  

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall
US Secretary of State John Kerry at the Berlin Wall. Photo: DPA

Kerry's challenge to Russia at Berlin Wall

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited remnants of the Berlin Wall on Wednesday and warned that East-West tensions again threaten freedom in Europe, 25 years after its collapse. READ  

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train
Sonneborn in the EU Parliament. Photo: DPA

Satirist lives the dream on EU gravy train

Martin Sonneborn can’t believe his luck. The German comedian, leader of the political party “Die Partei”, managed to get elected to the European Parliament in May, and has found himself overwhelmed with fresh material. READ  

The Local List
Which high school cliche is your city?
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock

Which high school cliche is your city?

This week's Local List takes a leap of imagination and finds German cities fit perfectly into high school cliche categories. Who's the class clown? Who's the nerd? READ  

Indian schools drop German teaching
Indian pupils enrolled in German classes prepare for Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to their school. Photo: DPA

Indian schools drop German teaching

Thousands of children in India will no longer be taught German after the country's education ministry allowed a contract to lapse. READ  

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt
A passenger plane landing at Frankfurt airport. Photo: DPA

Syria-bound US teens stopped in Frankfurt

Three teenage girls from Colorado were arrested by German police at Frankfurt airport after running away from home, reportedly on their way to join Isis in Syria. READ  

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine
Tuesday night's rescue operation Photo: DPA

Tourists stranded on cable car over Rhine

Six people, including a family and two American tourists, were left dangling 40 metres in the air over the Rhine for hours late on Tuesday after Cologne's cable car came to a halt. READ  

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome
Arjen Robben celebrates the first goal against AS Roma. Photo: DPA

7:1! Bayern celebrate record in Rome

Bayern Munich were elated on Tuesday night after securing a 7-1 victory against Roma in their group stage Champions League clash. READ  

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast
A preserved World War II U-Boat on the beach near Kiel, Germany. Photo: DPA

Nazi U-boat wreck found off US coast

A World War II German U-boat and an American merchant vessel it sank in battle have been found deep in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina, officials said on Tuesday. READ  

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?
Coming soon? Photo: DPA

Fourth time lucky for free Berlin WiFi?

Berlin's bid to set up a free city-wide wireless network has so far come to nothing. But city bosses are now trying for a fourth time - and hope to have the project running next year. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
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
Berlin
Robbers blow up Berlin bank
Photo: DPA
Culture
Can you top our history quiz leaderboard?
Photo: Facebook
Society
German motorcycle gang joins Isis fight
Photo: DPA
Politics
UKIP ‘seeks EU pact’ with German satirical party
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The ten richest people in Germany
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

3,491
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd