• Germany's news in English
 

Thieves unload trucks in high-speed robberies

Published: 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
'Auschwitz bookkeeper' trial nears verdict
Oskar Groening, the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz'. Photo: DPA

'Auschwitz bookkeeper' trial nears verdict

A former SS officer known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz" and a woman who survived the Nazi death camp delivered wrenching testimony in a courtroom on Wednesday as his historic trial neared a verdict. READ  

Assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
A photo of a Volkswagen assembly line, not related to the incident. Photo: DPA.

Assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen

A worker was setting up a robot at a Volkswagen factory when the machine grabbed him and pressed him against a metal slab, causing lethal injuries. READ  

Greece crisis
Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble
Pro-EU Greeks demonstrate outside the Athens parliament on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Greek offer 'no basis for discussion': Schäuble

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said Wednesday crisis-hit Greece was sending mixed signals in debt talks and called on its government to "clarify its position" before negotiations with creditors can resume. READ  

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave
Could this be July in North Rhine-Westphalia? Photo: DPA

Weathermen issue snow alert in heatwave

The German Weather Service (DWD) issued a weather warning for North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) on Wednesday predicting 5 to 10 cm of snow and winds of up to 60 km/h. READ  

Analysis
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
Angela Merkel faces a battery of microphones and cameras at a eurozone summit in Brussels on June 22nd. Photo: DPA

How German media shaped the Greece crisis

It's often said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel is the one person who truly matters when it comes to how the eurozone deals with Greece. But how much freedom does 'Mutti' really have in the face of the public and the media? READ  

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo
'This is not a dog toilet.' Photo: DPA

Women trade punches over neglected dog poo

Bergisch Gladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, hometown of supermodel Heide Klum, was once linked in Germans' minds with the catwalk. But now it is just as infamous for a dog walk, after two women came to blows over a mound of pooch poo. READ  

Referee costs Germany dear against USA
Head coach Silvia Neid (r) with Celia Sasic (l) on the bench. Photo: DPA

Referee costs Germany dear against USA

Germany coach Silvia Neid said she found the referee's decision-making 'sad' in her country's 2-0 semi-final defeat to the USA in the Women's World Cup in Montreal on early Wednesday morning. READ  

Train strikes
Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet
Three ICE (intercity) trains stand in a siding. Photo: DPA

Train drivers and Bahn bury the hatchet

The Train Drivers' Union (GDL) and Deutsche Bahn (DB) have finally agreed to end their dispute over drivers' work conditions, offering hope that nine months of rail chaos has finally come to an end. READ  

European heatwave
Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave
A couple leaping into an open-air pool in Freiburg. Photo: DPA

Keep cool and stay safe in the July heatwave

Here's how to keep cool as the mercury soars during this week's heatwave in Germany. And don't forget your pets! READ  

Former judge to see NSA target list
Photo: DPA

Former judge to see NSA target list

The Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into spying by the US National Security Agency (NSA) has chosen a former judge to examine lists of targets given to German spies by the Americans. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
Politics
Follow our LIVE blog as Europe holds breath over Greece crisis
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Culture
What's top of the charts in June
Gallery
Germany's most beautiful cycle routes
Business & Money
The business case for Britain in the EU
Rhineland
Why farmers are free to pong up the countryside
National
German restaurants among world's best
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

7,027
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd