Suspected thief made police recruitment poster boy

A €50,000-recruitment campaign recently launched by the Hamburg police took an ironic turn after one of the models hired to pose as an officer turned out to be a suspected thief.

Suspected thief made police recruitment poster boy

The man was one of four professional models to be used in a series of posters aimed at attracting new talent to the police force. The pictures were on display in train stations and underground stations across the northern German city and showed the suspected thief in full police uniform.

However, a passer-by soon recognised the man he believes stole money from him in August 2011, the Hamburger Abendblatt reported on Sunday.

The accused, whose name has not been released, denies all charges against him.

Hamburg police spokesman Mirko Streiber told the paper that the posters are now “being scrapped and the search for a new model is underway.”

Streiber added that “the sum of money that was allegedly stolen is believed to be relatively low.”

The Hamburg police stressed they had no indication the man was potentially a petty criminal before he was hired for the recruitment campaign.

DPA/The Local/jcw

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.