• Germany's news in English
 

Criminal Cookie Monster blackmails biscuit firm

Published: 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
Hurricane Niklas
Storm Niklas kills one, shuts down trains
This train in Lower Saxony had to stop after striking a fallen tree. Photo: DPA

Storm Niklas kills one, shuts down trains

Hurricane “Niklas” has reportedly claimed its first victim, near Magdeburg. Also, no regional trains are running in North Rhine-Westphalia as the storm rages across Germany. READ  

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams
Photo: DPA

Stuttgart worst city for traffic jams

GPS company TomTom released data on Tuesday showing which cities have the worst traffic problems. The conclusion: Stuttgart is Germany's worst city for commuters. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration

Lufthansa cancels 60th jubilee celebration

Germany's national airline Lufthansa announced on Tuesday that it would cancel celebrations for the 60th anniversary of its founding in 1955. READ  

Alps Plane Crash
Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

Doctors warn against snap crash reaction

The president of Germany's Council of Psychotherapists said on Tuesday that there was no reason why the country should loosen its rules on doctor-patient confidentiality in the wake of the Germanwings crash. READ  

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance
Chancellor Merkel speaking in Helsinki. Photo: DPA

Merkel urges Germans: Give Greece a chance

On a visit to Helsinki on Monday, Chancellor Angela Merkel showed a patient side to the German government as the Eurozone continues to wait for a new list of economic reforms from Greece. READ  

Unemployment at new post-unification low
Photo: DPA

Unemployment at new post-unification low

German unemployment fell in March to the lowest level since the country reunited in 1990 as growth in Europe's biggest economy continues to pick up, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'
A Trabant being converted into an E-car. Photo: DPA

Trabi project aims to electrify 'Ostalgia'

Its chuntering motor and belching exhaust once heralded the coming of the communist utopia. Now the east German 'Trabi' is leading a new revolution, and this time you won't hear it coming. READ  

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles
A German soldier aims a G36 rifle. Photo: DPA

Gun maker denies problems with army rifles

Update: Weapons manufacturer Heckler & Koch denied on Monday evening that the G36 rifles it supplied to the Bundeswehr (German army) lose their accuracy when they are too hot. READ  

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones
An American Reaper drone. Photo: DPA

Germany, France, Italy want Euro drones

Germany, France and Italy plan to push forward with plans for a European-made military drone, the German government told MPs on Monday. READ  

Energy prices drive return to inflation
Photo: DPA

Energy prices drive return to inflation

Inflation in Germany crept higher in March, driven by rebounding energy prices, preliminary data showed on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Sponsored Article
Expert US tax preparation for Americans in Germany
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Photo: Police
Rhineland
Student driver crashes tank into family garden.
Photo: DPA
Politics
There was a notable absence at the Anti-Semitism Commission
National
How Dresden bombing still divides Germany, 70 years on
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Take a cute break with this gallery of baby animals
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
Photo: DPA
National
Terror alert at a new high. Should you be worried?
Gallery
The best regional foods TTIP opponents want to protect
Photo: DPA
Features
All you ever needed to know about Pegida
Photo: Shutterstock
Culture
This cosplayer did not think his plan through
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
Gallery
Top 12 German idioms
Culture
10 top tips for partying in Germany
Photo: DPA
Technology
What does the Chancellor see as the future of the internet?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

7,039
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd