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CRIME

Wedding-gift thief filled flat with presents

Police who caught a serial wedding-gift thief found three truck-loads of stolen goods in his house, many of them presents destined for brides and grooms around southern Germany.

Wedding-gift thief filled flat with presents
Photo: DPA

The 46-year-old man admitted having stolen from hundreds of cars over five years, and that he had a particular foible for vehicles parked outside churches and wedding parties.

During one hit on a car parked outside a restaurant where a couple were throwing their wedding reception he made off with a pile of gift envelopes containing €4,000, as well as two mobile phones.

Police in Rottenburg, Baden-Württemberg, received a tip-off about the man and were stunned to find his flat stuffed with stolen goods worth around €120,000, as well as around €20,000 in cash.

The Reutlinger General-Anzeiger newspaper said on Monday that three small transporter trucks were needed to get all of the goods out of the man’s cluttered flat.

It was immediately apparent that the piles of cameras, satellite navigation systems, sport bags, hand bags, items of clothing, wallets and radios – as well as a selection of car and house keys did not belong to him.

The man, who has not been named, told the officers that as a professional driver, he would often find himself faced with the opportunity to steal, thus had taken to living by the motto “opportunity makes a thief.”

An anonymous tip-off about a car break-in was the last piece in the puzzle for police, who had been on the hunt from the light-fingered local for some time.

The Local/DPA/jlb/jcw

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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