• Germany edition
 
Thieves unload trucks in high-speed robberies
Photo: DPA

Thieves unload trucks in high-speed robberies

Published: 02 Mar 2013 13:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Mar 2013 13:45 GMT+01:00

Investigators in Dortmund are looking into at least 50 separate cases of high-speed highway robbery in North Rhine-Westphalia, wrote the Westfalen Blatt regional newspaper on Saturday. The thieves are said to have developed a method of unloading goods from trucks while on the move.

Gangs of robbers used several cars to surround trucks on two-lane autobahns, Barbara Vogelsang, a spokeswoman from the state prosecutor in Dortmund, told the paper.

A first car gets in front of the truck and forces it to slow down, while a second drives close up behind it. A third car drives alongside to make sure no other vehicles overtake and witness the robbery.

Risking his life, a thief then climbs out through the sunroof of the second car and, at speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour, climbs onto the bonnet and opens the back loading door of the truck in front. Climbing inside, the thief then throws the loot back to his accomplices, wrote the paper.

The truck driver, meanwhile, sees nothing of the daring operation, which lasts just a few minutes.

In over 50 separate robberies since November last year, the thieves have made off with electronic goods - including laptops and mobile phones – worth over €250,000, said Vogelsang.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:08 March 2, 2013 by crm114
logical extension of the EU open door policy.
23:44 March 2, 2013 by Vargaz
Attention lorry drivers: the next time a car pulls in front, slows down, and another pulls up alongside, call the police first, then SLAMONTHEBRAKES so the car in back rear-ends you, then the hit the gas and rear end the car in front. The suspects will be thrown from the back and stunned in the front. If they get out of the car in front, run them over. End of problem.
05:39 March 3, 2013 by CoolBlueIce
@Vargaz... You can't be serious. Do you really think it's all that uncommon for a car in front of a truck to slow down (for a multitude of reasons) while a second car coincidentally drives along side? What colour is the sky in your world?
10:38 March 3, 2013 by Bier_me
First there was that crazy bank robbery, now this robbery while moving 120 kmh. There are some very creative thieves in Germany these days. On a side note, if the EU used tractor trailers like those used in the U.S. they wouldn't have this problem. I've never understood the deal with using cloth and rubber to cover the goods being transported. I'm sure its cheaper, but it is more dangerous and now it is proven easier to steal the cargo.
11:23 March 3, 2013 by zeddriver
@CoolBlueIce

I'm sure he was being sarcastic "to a point". Remember. These are happening in the dead of night according to the article. So It makes some sense that if a car in front and beside you simultaneously slow down. Then perhaps a lorry driver should get a little proactive. For example. Put on the left signal and slowly start to move to the left. Or pretend you are driving an Audi and put the lorries bumper 2-3 cm from the car in front of you and don't slow down.

@bier_me

The answer to the trailers being the way they are. Is because in Europe. Space to unload a lorry can be precarious. And access from the sides are required. Which requires the soft sides.
12:14 March 5, 2013 by Darra
"Climbing inside, the thief then throws the loot back to his accomplices, wrote the paper. ...In over 50 separate robberies since November last year, the thieves have made off with electronic goods - including laptops and mobile phones ­ worth over €250,000, said Vogelsang."

Obviously they know what's in the truck. No furniture, potted plants , dog food , etc :) So somebody from inside must be involved

But then, 50 robberies for 250000 is only 5000 per hit. They have 3 cars, so its at least 3 people to drive, one to climb in the trick and maybe one to catch the stuff. It's 5 people, So it's 1000 per person. It's been 4 months since November , so it's 250 Euro per thief per month.

This people would do much better if they just find a 400 E job :) And it's less dangerous and it's legal. Unless they are doing it for the trill of it.
Today's headlines
Opinion
Do German unions have too much power?
Your plans are now cancelled. Photo: DPA

Do German unions have too much power?

Germany's pilots and train drivers are taking it in turns to bring the country to a standstill with strikes that have cost the economy tens of millions of euros in the last two weeks. Are unions abusing their power or standing up for their rights? READ  

Older workers can have extra days off
Photo: Workers in a German shoe factory. Photo: DPA

Older workers can have extra days off

Older workers in Germany are allowed more time off than younger ones, a court ruled on Tuesday, saying the difference was not discriminatory. READ  

Expat's family battles for answers four years on
Matthew Fitzpatrick died in 2010 in Mannheim. Photo: Fitzpatrick family

Expat's family battles for answers four years on

In 2010 an Irish computer engineer was found dead in his apartment in Baden-Württemberg. Four years on, his family are still pressing the German justice system for answers. They feel badly let down by police who they say have refused to examine evidence of foul play. READ  

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret
The judges of the Supreme Court announce their decision about weapons exports on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Court: Germany can keep arms deals secret

The government can keep arms deals secret and only tell the public about them after contracts have been signed, the Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday. READ  

Cash returned after bakery mix-up

Cash returned after bakery mix-up

Just how honest would you have to be to return €7,500 that you found in a box supposed to contain your favourite cheesecake? READ  

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel
Photo: DPA

Tanker fills up gas station with wrong fuel

Around 160 car owners are stuck after a gas station's storage tanks were filled with the wrong fuel, causing an estimated €100,000 in damage. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 1,500 flights

UPDATE: In the second day of their strike, Lufthansa pilots have, as promised, extended their industrial action to include long-haul international flights until the end of Tuesday. READ  

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts
Chancellor Angela Merkel in Bratislava, Slovakia, on Monday. Photo: DPA

Merkel tells allies to pay Ukraine's gas debts

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday called on Ukraine's allies to help the war-scarred nation pay off its gas debts to Russia, amid concern over gas supplies this winter. READ  

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force
Frank-Walter Steinmeier speaks at the World Health Summit in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Steinmeier wants epidemic task force

At the World Health Summit in Berlin, the Ebola crisis took centre stage at talks meant to create plans for how to handle future outbreaks. READ  

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of
The Wiesbaden Museum in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Nazi-stolen painting put on display, sort of

The Wiesbaden Museum was once a collection house for art stolen from Jewish owners by the Nazi. With one painting, they hope to right at least one wrong while bringing awareness to its ongoing restitution work. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Mariana Schroeder
Munich
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
Travel
This is the man who has stopped Germany's trains
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Expats: Should I stay or should I go?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
PHOTOS: World's biggest erotic fair opens in Berlin
Photo: DPA/Shutterstock
Gallery
11 things Germans are afraid of...
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
Which expat foods do you miss the most?
Sponsored Article
International School on the Rhine: a legacy
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

3,471
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd