There have been a series of spectacular burglaries in Berlin, including at the Alexa Shopping Centre and the Apple store on Kurfürstendamm, in which raiders have driven a stolen car through the front of the shop and made off with electronic equipment.
Police arrested seven men in their 20s in Dresden, Saxony, on Tuesday night, shortly after the gang had driven a stolen Ford Galaxy through the glass doors of a shopping centre at 2.20am.
They drove into the middle of the centre and broke into a Media Markt electronics store – also the outlet of choice in the Alexa Centre raid in Berlin.
But this time, a special operations police unit arrived on time, the Berliner Zeitung reported.
Four suspects were arrested at the scene, where investigators later found an axe and a machete. Three others escaped in a white Audi A7, ramming into a police car on their way out and injuring one officer.
The three fleeing burglars headed onto the A13 motorway to the town of Cottbus. Police found the car abandoned in a car park and later traced the men’s trail to a house in the town where they arrested them.
One of the arrested men, a 24-year-old, has been known to police for the past ten years. He lives in Spandau, Berlin. The other six live in the Reineckendorf area of the city.
An investigation has been opened to into whether they are the gang behind not only the electronics thefts but also a number of raids on jewellery and pawn shops.