Police called to a discount clothing store in the Ruhr Valley last weekend made the grisly discovery while looking for clues to the break-in - the tip of a finger, complete with nail, lying on the floor.
“It was completely dried out, which rules out being able to sew it back on to the rest of its owner’s finger,” police spokesman Volker Schütte told The Local.
He said at least two people had broken through the back door of the Kik store in Wanne-Eickel at some time between 3 p.m. on Saturday and 7 a.m. on Sunday. They had tried to steal the safe.
But while trying to lift the heavy safe through a small window, one of the culprits must have trapped a finger, ripping the end clean off.
“We found the tip on the floor surrounded by blood and at first we thought it was a woman’s finger because the nail seemed to appear quite long.”
But when the investigators had a closer look, they realised that they were in fact looking at the inside of the nail – and that large amounts normally embedded into the skin were exposed.
“This makes us think maybe it’s a man, but we’re waiting for results from a DNA test to be sure,” Schütte explained.
He said he expected the injured would-be thief to go to hospital for treatment, but said detectives could not hope for information from medical staff – confidentiality laws would prevent them from pointing the finger.