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CRIME

Janitor steals 25 tonnes of stationery

In a case that promises to be a bureaucratic nightmare for police, a kleptomanic caretaker in the southern German city of Stuttgart has admitted stealing around 25 tonnes of office supplies over several decades, and keeping them in his flat.

Janitor steals 25 tonnes of stationery
Photo: DPA

As well as ordinary office supplies, the 69-year-old man collected cleaning materials, dozens of brooms and brushes, toilet paper, whole rolls of paper towels, aluminium boxes and ladders.

He filled his living room with his haul, and when that was full, stuffed his cellar, storerooms and a garden shed full of the stolen stationery and supllies. Initial estimates have valued the accumulated booty in the six figure region, but he apparently had no intention of selling it.

According to a report in the Bild newspaper, the janitor worked for the Stuttgart city authorities for several decades until he retired in 2007. The police were only alerted to his thefts by an anonymous tip.

Officers have now begun the arduous task of cataloguing the material and returning it to the city council. Much of it is said to be as good new, though it is thought that the statute of limitations may have come into effect for some of the thefts.

It remains unclear what drove the caretaker to the serial pilfering spree, but he is not expected to be arrested, as he is not expected to go on the run – and some of his crimes have come under the statute of limitations.

The Local/bk

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CRIME

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.

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