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CRIME

Devil and angel rob shop owner in Cologne as Karneval begins

Two thieves dressed in angel and devil costumes robbed a shop owner in Cologne at knifepoint on Thursday.

Devil and angel rob shop owner in Cologne as Karneval begins
A Karneval goer in a devil costume on Thursday. Same one? Photo: DPA

The robbery took place in the early morning hours of the first day of the city’s debaucherous Karneval costume and parade festival, police in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia reported on Thursday.

At 5:20 am, the diabolical duo in Karneval garb approached a 48-year-old electronics shop owner in the city’s Porz district. They threatened him with a knife and forced him inside, where they relieved him of cash and a large quantity of stamps, police said.

The two men then bound the shop owner and fled. Some time later, the man was able to wiggle his mobile phone out of a pocket and call emergency services. When police arrived, the man was suffering from shock.

Officers are urgently seeking witnesses who saw a devil and an angel together in the area. The first suspect is described as tall and thin, with a red-painted face, devil hat with horns, and a red devil costume with jeans. His celestial counterpart was also tall and thin, had his face painted white, and wore a white angel costume.

CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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