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.