Police release wrong photo in bank haul hunt

A Bavarian teacher found himself in the middle of a manhunt on Monday, after Berlin police released his picture as a key suspect in an elaborate bank break-in. He had nothing to do with the €10-million raid.

Police release wrong photo in bank haul hunt
Burglars dug a 45-metre tunnel and made off with €10 million in cash and valuables. Photo: DPA

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One year on since burglars dug a tunnel into the vaults of a Berlin bank in a Hollywood-style heist, police thought they might be on their way to cracking the case. They released a picture on Monday of an ID card found at the scene.

But it turned out that the man in the photo was a 37-year-old high school teacher from Bavaria who had had his ID card stolen 2004. The card found among the rubble of the tunnel was a fake Dutch ID card, with his face on it.

The man noticed his photo on a newspaper website and contacted Berlin police. He rang officers the day they had released the image to tell them they had got it wrong, police said in a statement on Wednesday.

He is not a suspect in the case, the statement stressed. Police are unsure how exactly his face ended up on the fake ID card.

It is the second time police have released a photo of an innocent man believing him to be connected to the bank raid.

A week after the break-in a photo of a suspect was circulated by police, only to be withdrawn a day later. 

Nor are they any closer in finding out who spent a year drilling the 45-metre-long tunnel. The tunnel came out in the vaults of a branch of the Berlin Volksbank in the upmarket Steglitz area of Berlin.

Thieves emptied nearly 300 safes, getting away with around €10 million in cash and valuables. Earlier in January this year some of the victims demonstrated against the bank, as they had not been recompensed.

.READ MORE: Tunnel bank robbery possible inside job

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