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CRIME

Twin KaDeWe robbery suspects headed to Berlin jail

The twin brother suspects in the KaDeWe jewellery heist will be brought to Berlin on Tuesday where they will be held and interrogated, one of their lawyers told daily Berliner Zeitung.

Twin KaDeWe robbery suspects headed to Berlin jail
Photo: DPA

Abbas and Hassan O. will be held in the city’s Moabit district. Abbas is on his way from Lüneburg and Hassan is coming from Hannover, the lawyer told the paper.

The two were arrested last Wednesday at a gaming hall in the Lower Saxony town of Rotenburg. According to the paper, police found the men based on a DNA trace left by one of the suspects who is already registered in police records.

“The clue is definite,” one investigator told the paper. “It was enough to get a warrant.”

The 27-year-old twins are suspects in the sensational jewellery robbery at Germany’s most famous department store, the KaDeWe in Berlin. In what has been described as one of the most spectacular heists in post-war German history, thieves used a ladder to climb onto a projecting roof on the Ansbacherstrasse side of the grand old store on January 25. They relieved the massive shopping paradise of €6 million in jewellery and luxury watches.

CCTV evidence suggests that three masked men then took their loot in two stages, using the projecting roof to store the valuables while they returned to get more. Police are still trying to work out why no alarms were triggered during the robbery.

Last week daily Berliner Morgenpost reported that the two come from a Lebanese family in Lower Saxony that is related to a large “clan” in Berlin that may have connections to the “red light scene.” They may have been involved in past robberies and drug dealing, and one twin is rumoured to have been a dealer for Viagra pills, the Berliner Zeitung reported on Tuesday.

One relative was apparently involved in a hit and run accident that killed an elderly tourist. The relative later died in a police chase, Berliner Morgenpost reported.

CRIME

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

Police were on Tuesday investigating a motive behind the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old girl on her way to school in Baden-Württemberg in a case that made national headlines.

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

According to police, a 27-year-old man attacked two girls on the street with a knife as they walked to school Monday morning in the small town of Illerkirchberg near Ulm.

The victim, a German girl with a Turkish family background, was revived at the scene but later died in hospital, police said.

A 13-year-old girl was also hurt in the incident but did not suffer
life-threatening injuries.

Police apprehended the suspect at “nearby asylum seekers’ accommodation”, they said.

The alleged aggressor was injured when he was stopped by police and was taken to receive medical treatment. He was currently being held in hospital under guard.

Google Maps shows the town of Illerkirchberg, which has a little over 5,000 residents, and sits on the border with Bavaria.

“We will fully investigate this terrible act,” announced Thomas Strobl, Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister on Monday. “We are deeply affected…when the life of an innocent child is so brutally taken.”

The crime has taken on a political dimension because the suspect is an asylum seeker from Eritrea. Several politicians from Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) used the crime to question the country’s immigration policies. 

In the statement, a police spokesperson asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.”

She said she was aware “that events of this kind stir up fears and emotions.”

The Turkish ambassador to Germany, Ahmet Basar Sen, was set to visit the scene of the crime Tuesday with  Strobl, and the mayor of Illerkirchberg.

“I mourn the girl who was killed and sincerely hope that the injured girl will recover,” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser posted on Twitter Monday.

“The police are urgently investigating the background” of the attack, she said.

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