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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 police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

Police were on Tuesday investigating a motive behind the fatal stabbing of a 14-year-old girl on her way to school in Baden-Württemberg in a case that made national headlines.

German police probe fatal knife attack on schoolgirl

According to police, a 27-year-old man attacked two girls on the street with a knife as they walked to school Monday morning in the small town of Illerkirchberg near Ulm.

The victim, a German girl with a Turkish family background, was revived at the scene but later died in hospital, police said.

A 13-year-old girl was also hurt in the incident but did not suffer
life-threatening injuries.

Police apprehended the suspect at “nearby asylum seekers’ accommodation”, they said.

The alleged aggressor was injured when he was stopped by police and was taken to receive medical treatment. He was currently being held in hospital under guard.

Google Maps shows the town of Illerkirchberg, which has a little over 5,000 residents, and sits on the border with Bavaria.

“We will fully investigate this terrible act,” announced Thomas Strobl, Baden-Württemberg’s Interior Minister on Monday. “We are deeply affected…when the life of an innocent child is so brutally taken.”

The crime has taken on a political dimension because the suspect is an asylum seeker from Eritrea. Several politicians from Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) used the crime to question the country’s immigration policies. 

In the statement, a police spokesperson asked people “not to harbour general suspicions against strangers, or asylum seekers in general, or to encourage or support such suspicions.”

She said she was aware “that events of this kind stir up fears and emotions.”

The Turkish ambassador to Germany, Ahmet Basar Sen, was set to visit the scene of the crime Tuesday with  Strobl, and the mayor of Illerkirchberg.

“I mourn the girl who was killed and sincerely hope that the injured girl will recover,” Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser posted on Twitter Monday.

“The police are urgently investigating the background” of the attack, she said.

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