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.
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.