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Thief caught selling phone back to victim

A pickpocket was left feeling stupid at the weekend after he tried to sell a mobile phone back to the woman he had stolen it from - and was promptly arrested.

Thief caught selling phone back to victim
Photo: DPA

The 24-year-old pickpocket stole a €700 iPhone out of a woman's handbag at the main train station in Düsseldorf on Saturday night – but immediately forgot what she looked like.

The victim, 22, rang the police to report the incident, giving officers a detailed description of the thief, wrote the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Monday.

But just an hour later, she encountered her assailant again on a nearby street trying to make some quick cash. Not recognizing the woman, he tried to sell her phone back to her for just €60.

Together with her boyfriend, the woman seized the phone back from the pickpocket and took it straight to police in the train station.

There she gave officers another description of the thief and officers were able to apprehend him not long after, wandering around the station.

When police tried to arrest the man he grew aggressive and ended up spending the night in a police cell.

Police have charged the man with theft and handling stolen goods. 

SEE ALSO: Germany nabs Vatican-bound cocaine condoms

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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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