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Thieves steal thousands of blank passports in Berlin

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Thieves steal thousands of blank passports in Berlin
Photo:DPA
14:20 CEST+02:00
Thousands of blank travel documents, stamps and official seals from the offices of four Berlin district administrative offices have been stolen, daily Der Tagesspiegel reported this week.

The thieves broke in to three buildings over the weekend, trashing the offices of local authorities and stealing blank passports for adults and children, as well as seals and stickers used for creating residence and work permits.

Police have not commented on the robberies, saying they are still under investigation, Der Tagesspiegel reported on Tuesday.

Almost 5,000 visas and residence permits were stolen from a government office in the Moabit neighbourhood on Friday evening.

Then on Sunday, thieves stole temporary passports and official stamps from the Reinickendorf district administration office (Bürgeramt).

The Bürgeramt for the Prenzlauer Berg district sustained an estimated €50,000 in damages when thieves broke through 15 doors and locked cabinets to steal about 100 blank passports, identity cards, child passports and €500 in cash. The culprits then let the fire extinguishers loose on the office, covering all traces of their work and ruining monitors and computers.

The office is closed indefinitely for clean-up, the paper said.

Authorities had already investigating a similar burglary at the Charlottenburg district Bürgeramt on June 29, when labels for foreign passports granting limited residence permits were also stolen.

Police said not all of the offices were equipped with alarms.

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