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CRIME

Burglars favour weekday winter evenings

People living in Germany are most at risk of having their houses broken into on a weekday evening during the winter, figures released on Thursday revealed. Built-up areas in western states are particular hotspots.

Burglars favour weekday winter evenings
Photo: DPA

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The report from the Federal Office for Criminal Investigation (BKA) showed that burglars are at their most active between 5pm and 9pm in the winter months of October to March. Wednesday to Friday were the most popular days for break-ins, with fewer incidents on a weekend.

Favoured booty included cash, jewellery, cameras, mobile phones, laptops, tablets and house and car keys. On average, the BKA believes a burglar gets away with around €4,610 worth of stolen goods per break-in, the Welt newspaper reported.

BKA research also showed that in 2012, 71 percent of suspected break-ins were done by German citizens. Other nationalities that cropped up the most often were Bulgarian, Polish, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish.

“Baden-Württemberg also showed an increase of perpetrators from Moldova, Hungary and Greece,” said the report.

Experts believe that more professional criminals concentrate solely on winter months to carry out crimes.

Going off the 2012 figures, hotspots appear to be high density areas along the Rhine and Main rivers where cities such as Cologne, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt prove rich pickings for groups of organized criminals, according to the report.

Two-thirds of all burglaries between 2009 and 2012 were carried out in the states of Berlin, Hesse, Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

READ MORE: Thieves use evacuation to loot houses

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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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