SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Police blame gangs for burglary rise

The number of burglaries has risen by up to 30 percent in some German states. Police are holding professional gangs responsible for the increase.

Police blame gangs for burglary rise
Photo: DPA

In 2012 the number of domestic burglaries rose by 8.7 percent to 144,117 – a break-in every four minutes. And the 2013 figures which will be published in June are expected to show a further increase.

The 2013 numbers have already been released for some of Germany’s 16 states. They show a huge rise in Baden-Württemberg, with the number of burglaries increasing by more than 30 percent, to 11,300 cases last year.

In North Rhine-Westphalia, there were 54,953 break-ins, an increase of 1.5 percent and the highest figure since 1995.

Police in North Rhine-Westphalia said in their report that “mobile gangs were increasingly identified as suspects".

They are trying to fight back with more road checks including on motorways.

But criminologist Professor Thomas Feltes from Ruhr University Bochum said such actions were “symbolic gestures” from politicians.   

He described the typical burglar as “young, male and addicted to drugs” and often burgling the home of someone they knew.

Feltes also said there were far more burglaries than recorded in the figures.

Despite crime levels falling overall in Germany, the number of burglaries has been increasing since 2005.

But some states reported good news. In Schleswig-Holstein the number of break-ins fell slightly, although daytime burglaries rose by nine percent.

In Bremen the number fell by 12 percent. Interior Senator Ulrich Mäurer (SPD) put the sharp decline down to more homeowners and tenants seeking advice on how to secure their homes.

Berlin said its figure fell by six percent to 11,566 break-ins in 2013.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS