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CRIME

Thieves dynamite ATM, blow up bank

German thieves made an explosive miscalculation on Sunday night when trying to blow open cash machine – they used so much dynamite they destroyed the bank – but managed to escape with the ATM.

Thieves dynamite ATM, blow up bank
Photo: DPA

Parts of the Sparkasse bank were flung more than 80 metres across the street, damaging two neighbouring buildings, the Westfälische Allgemeine Zeitung reported on Monday.

Despite their misjudgement, the suspects appeared to have left the scene with the cash machine as police confirmed to The Local, it was missing.

The suspects probably used far too much dynamite, police in Nottuln, near Münster North-Rhine Westphalia said on Monday.

No information has been released on how much money was in the machine, but the blast has caused hundreds of thousands of euros in damage.

The flats above the bank are uninhabitable a police spokesman said, and engineers will be brought in to determine whether the entire building will have to be demolished.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

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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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