• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Thieves unload trucks in high-speed robberies

The Local · 2 Mar 2013, 13:45

Published: 02 Mar 2013 13:45 GMT+01:00

Investigators in Dortmund are looking into at least 50 separate cases of high-speed highway robbery in North Rhine-Westphalia, wrote the Westfalen Blatt regional newspaper on Saturday. The thieves are said to have developed a method of unloading goods from trucks while on the move.

Gangs of robbers used several cars to surround trucks on two-lane autobahns, Barbara Vogelsang, a spokeswoman from the state prosecutor in Dortmund, told the paper.

A first car gets in front of the truck and forces it to slow down, while a second drives close up behind it. A third car drives alongside to make sure no other vehicles overtake and witness the robbery.

Risking his life, a thief then climbs out through the sunroof of the second car and, at speeds of up to 120 kilometres per hour, climbs onto the bonnet and opens the back loading door of the truck in front. Climbing inside, the thief then throws the loot back to his accomplices, wrote the paper.

The truck driver, meanwhile, sees nothing of the daring operation, which lasts just a few minutes.

Story continues below…

In over 50 separate robberies since November last year, the thieves have made off with electronic goods - including laptops and mobile phones – worth over €250,000, said Vogelsang.

DAPD/The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

20:08 March 2, 2013 by crm114
logical extension of the EU open door policy.
23:44 March 2, 2013 by Vargaz
Attention lorry drivers: the next time a car pulls in front, slows down, and another pulls up alongside, call the police first, then SLAMONTHEBRAKES so the car in back rear-ends you, then the hit the gas and rear end the car in front. The suspects will be thrown from the back and stunned in the front. If they get out of the car in front, run them over. End of problem.
05:39 March 3, 2013 by CoolBlueIce
@Vargaz... You can't be serious. Do you really think it's all that uncommon for a car in front of a truck to slow down (for a multitude of reasons) while a second car coincidentally drives along side? What colour is the sky in your world?
10:38 March 3, 2013 by Bier_me
First there was that crazy bank robbery, now this robbery while moving 120 kmh. There are some very creative thieves in Germany these days. On a side note, if the EU used tractor trailers like those used in the U.S. they wouldn't have this problem. I've never understood the deal with using cloth and rubber to cover the goods being transported. I'm sure its cheaper, but it is more dangerous and now it is proven easier to steal the cargo.
11:23 March 3, 2013 by zeddriver
@CoolBlueIce

I'm sure he was being sarcastic "to a point". Remember. These are happening in the dead of night according to the article. So It makes some sense that if a car in front and beside you simultaneously slow down. Then perhaps a lorry driver should get a little proactive. For example. Put on the left signal and slowly start to move to the left. Or pretend you are driving an Audi and put the lorries bumper 2-3 cm from the car in front of you and don't slow down.

@bier_me

The answer to the trailers being the way they are. Is because in Europe. Space to unload a lorry can be precarious. And access from the sides are required. Which requires the soft sides.
12:14 March 5, 2013 by Darra
"Climbing inside, the thief then throws the loot back to his accomplices, wrote the paper. ...In over 50 separate robberies since November last year, the thieves have made off with electronic goods - including laptops and mobile phones ­ worth over €250,000, said Vogelsang."

Obviously they know what's in the truck. No furniture, potted plants , dog food , etc :) So somebody from inside must be involved

But then, 50 robberies for 250000 is only 5000 per hit. They have 3 cars, so its at least 3 people to drive, one to climb in the trick and maybe one to catch the stuff. It's 5 people, So it's 1000 per person. It's been 4 months since November , so it's 250 Euro per thief per month.

This people would do much better if they just find a 400 E job :) And it's less dangerous and it's legal. Unless they are doing it for the trill of it.
Today's headlines
Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Pegida take to Dresden streets - to march against Pegida
Pegida demonstrators. Photo: DPA

Followers of the xenophobic Pegida movement marched in two factions on Monday evening in the capital of Saxony, brandishing fierce accusations of treason against one another.

Analysis
Is it fair to call the AfD far right?
AfD leaders, from left, Georg Pazderski, Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen. Photo: DPA.

The AfD has been dubbed "far-right" over the past year as it has taken on a tougher stance against immigration and made gains in state elections. But at what point does one call a group far-right?

Dresden police guard Islamic buildings after mosque attack
The Dresden mosque that was hit by a homemade bomb attack on Monday. Photo: DPA.

All Islamic buildings in the capital of Saxony have been put under police protection on Tuesday after explosive devices were detonated at a mosque and a congress centre in the city.

Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
Photo: DPA

German data protection authorities on Tuesday said they had blocked Facebook from collecting subscriber data from its subsidiary WhatsApp, citing privacy concerns.

Stuttgart fest pulls in twice as many boozers as Oktoberfest
Is this Oktoberfest or is this Stuttgart's Cannstatter Volksfest? Can you tell the difference? Well, it's Stuttgart. Photo: DPA.

Apparently Munich is no longer the top place to wear lederhosen and down beer one litre at a time.

The Local List
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Photo: DPA

These films are so good, not even The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari made the list.

Young man destroys 17 cars after visiting Oktoberfest

Early on Monday morning a drunk 29-year-old trashed 17 cars after staggering out of Oktoberfest into the Munich streets. It was one of several eye-popping crimes from "Wiesn" over the past few days.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,591
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd