High-tech thieves blocking remote car door locks

Police in Düsseldorf are warning car owners about a band of thieves using high-tech jammers to block remote control car door locks to gain access to vehicles.

High-tech thieves blocking remote car door locks
Safer than door locks!! Photo: DPA

The authorities said the group of criminals from the Balkans use the method to steal valuables from cars that are normally locked with the touch of a button on a keychain.

The suspects have stolen goods such as purses, coats, navigation computers and laptops. And in one case they even made off with €1 million in jewels.

The thieves apparently use radio signal jammers available for €2,000 in criminal circles.

Chief investigator Jürgen Franke said several members of the gang had been arrested, including a 60-year-old man “caught in the act” while recently attempting to break into an Audi A6 parked on Düsseldorf’s Königsallee.

The man, identified as Zoran M., was supposedly involved in the theft of the jewels back in 2005 with a 40-year-old woman and an unnamed dentist, who allegedly helped fence the stolen goods.

“There’s evidence that the dentist involved took care of the loot,” Franke said.

But police cannot expect his testimony at an upcoming trial for his accomplices, since Interpol believes he has since fallen prey to members of the Moscow underworld.

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101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor