Thief steals ambulance while crew battle to save sick child

Ambulance personnel attending an emergency call to a sick child were appalled when their ambulance was stolen while they were busy on Friday.

Thief steals ambulance while crew battle to save sick child
Did you leave the keys in? Photo: DPA

The Red Cross ambulance crew had answered a call in Freiburg, southern Germany, and in their hurry, parked their vehicle in the street outside the family’s house, according to a report in Der Spiegel.

They left the blue lights flashing and the heating on, in case they had to take the child to hospital – and therefore had to leave the keys in the ignition.

But having sorted out the emergency and successfully treated the child, the team left the house to find no trace of their ambulance.

“Whoever does this kind of thing is putting people’s lives at risk,” said Wolfgang Schäfer-Mai, manager of the Red Cross in Freiburg.

“What would have happened if the crew had needed further equipment from the ambulance I order to save the life of the child? What if the child had to be taken straight to hospital?”

The central office used a GPS tracing system to find the ambulance which had been dumped just a few streets away.

Police have reportedly arrested a 41-year-old man in connection with the theft.


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.

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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. 

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