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CRIME

Jeweller raids jewellery shop and banks

A jeweller in western Germany turned robber in a desperate attempt to save his struggling business. The 48-year-old carried out a series of raids on banks and even another jewellery shop.

Jeweller raids jewellery shop and banks
Photo: DPA

He was sentenced to six years and three months in prison on Wednesday by a court in Krefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia, for extortion.

The man admitted to carrying out four raids on three banks and one jewellery shop in August and September 2013 to save his own jewellery business in Düsseldorf.

In one unsuccessful raid he left a bag in a bank in Mönchengladbach with the words “Caution, Bomb” written on it. He then phoned the bank and threatened to explode the device if he wasn’t given money, but bank workers called the police and a bomb squad arrived which showed it was a fake.

The court heard one bank employee has been unable to work since as it was the third time the 57-year-old had been the victim of a robbery.

And in Viersen he walked into a jewellery shop with what prosecutors described as a realistic looking gun, which was in fact a toy. But when a customer entered the store he fled empty-handed.  

He was caught after a bank raid in Duisburg went wrong. He left an empty drink carton near the crime scene on which police found DNA.

The jeweller escaped on a fold-up bicycle which he pedalled to a nearby car park and then drove off in his black BMW Z3. But a witness saw him escape and police asked all 65 residents of Krefeld with a BMW Z3 for a saliva sample. He was the only one who refused.

Prosecutors called for a nine-year sentence, while his defence team asked for five-and-a-half years.

SEE ALSO: Bin Laden joker ends up on terror watchlist 

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CRIME

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

A driver in Passau has been hit with a €5,000 fine because he was caught by traffic police giving the middle finger.

Driver in Bavaria gets €5,000 fine for giving the finger to speed camera

The district court of Passau sentenced the 53-year-old motorist to the fine after he was caught making the rude gesture in the direction of the speedometer last August on the A3 near the Donautal Ost service area, reported German media. 

The man was not caught speeding, however. According to traffic police who were in the speed camera vehicle at the time, another driver who had overtaken the 53-year-old was over the speed limit. 

When analysing the photo, the officers discovered the slower driver’s middle finger gesture and filed a criminal complaint.

The driver initially filed an objection against a penalty order, and the case dragged on for several months. However, he then accepted the complaint. He was sentenced to 50 ‘unit fines’ of €100 on two counts of insulting behaviour, amounting to €5,000.

READ ALSO: The German rules of the road that are hard to get your head around

In a letter to police, the man said he regretted the incident and apologised. 

Police said it was “not a petty offence”, and that the sentence could have been “even more drastic”.

People who give insults while driving can face a prison sentences of up to a year.

“Depending on the nature and manner of the incident or in the case of persons with a previous conviction, even a custodial sentence without parole may be considered for an insult,” police in Passau said. 

What does the law say?

Showing the middle finger to another road user in road traffic is an offence in Germany under Section 185 of the Criminal Code (StGB). It’s punishable by a prison sentence of up to one year or a fine.

People can file a complaint if someone shows them the middle finger in road traffic, but it usually only has a chance of success if witnesses can prove that it happened.

As well as the middle finger, it can also be an offence to verbally insult someone. 

READ ALSO: The German road signs that confuse foreigners

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