Germany's most-wanted fugitive arrested in Hamburg

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29 May, 2009 Updated Fri 29 May 2009 10:22 CEST
Germany's most-wanted fugitive arrested in Hamburg

Thomas Wolf, Germany’s most-wanted criminal, was arrested without a fight on Hamburg’s notorious Reeperbahn red-light strip on Thursday evening. He had been on the run for nine years.


The 56-year-old was considered dangerous and had a €100,000 reward offered for his capture. Wolf had numerous run-ins with the law for more than four decades and escaped prison three times, daily Bild reported on Friday. In 2000, Wolf took advantage of a short-term prison leave to escape and rob a bank of €250,000 with a fake bomb threat, the paper said.

In late March, Wolf kidnapped the wife of a top banker in Wiesbaden, getting €1.8 million for her release. He then eluded special commission investigators throughout the country, but new clues led them to Hamburg, where they “recognised him on the street in an opportune moment,” a police statement said.

Wolf is said to be a linguistic genius, speaking Dutch, French, Russian and English in addition to his native German, Bild reported, adding that with 14 aliases, investigators had dubbed him the “chameleon.”

He apparently lived with his unsuspecting girlfriend in Frankfurt for eight years as a Dutchman called David van Dyk.


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