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CRIME

Hamburg police hunt cross-dressing armed bank robber

Police in Hamburg are asking for information about an armed bank robber who disguised himself as an old woman on Friday, stole several thousand euros and escaped a huge operation to catch him.

Hamburg police hunt cross-dressing armed bank robber
Is he here somewhere? Photo: DPA

The man, thought to be about 45 years old, entered the Haspa bank on the Spitalerstrasse in the centre of the city wearing a headscarf, glasses and a long coat, according to police information.

He pulled a pistol on the bank teller and then in classic form, handed over a note which read, ‘This is a robbery’, the Hamburger Morgenpost reported.

After being given several thousand euros in cash, the man stormed out of the bank and ran up the street along the famous Jungfernsteig and into town.

Armed police soon swarmed through the city centre, at one point searching a brothel in their hunt for the man.

At least five members of the public were searched as they walked through town, and one man in a car was stopped and checked.

Dozens of police cars and the police helicopter were called out, while metro trains were stopped and searched, but to no avail.

Police are now appealing for any information about the man who they say is around 170cm tall and about 45 years old. He was wearing a dark, long coat, a light-coloured headscarf and a pair of glasses.

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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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