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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

Prosecutors are investigating at least four suspected modern-day highwaymen said to have repeatedly surrounded moving trucks on autobahns in the dead of night and made off with loot worth over €250,000.

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)

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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.
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