Jewellery shop raided by fake football fans

Jewellery shop raided by fake football fans
German flags are paraded on lots of cars during the World Cup, helping the gang make their getaway. Photo: DPA
Three masked men robbed a jewellery store in a Berlin shopping arcade during the Germany-Portugal World Cup match on Monday evening. They escaped by putting a huge Germany flag over their getaway car.

The men entered the shop around 6.30pm, half-an-hour after the World Cup game kicked off.

They commanded the nine staff and customers present to get down on the ground in a smash-and-grab robbery lasting only about two minutes.

The men smashed display cabinets at the "Christ" jeweller's in the capital's Potsdamer Arcaden complex, stole various items of jewellery and escaped in a car described by witnesses only as "an Audi", police said on Tuesday.

A cashier at the tea shop opposite "Christ", who witnessed the crime, told Berlin's Tagesspiegel newspaper the robbers' escape vehicle had a huge German flag on it, making it appear the owners were football supporters.

"The flag was big and hanging over the back," she said, adding the patriotic decoration was so large she could not read the vehicle's number plate.

After Germany's 4:0 victory an hour later, many of Berlin's streets were full of cars covered in German flags to celebrate the win, while during the game many public areas including much of the shopping centre were deserted.

A spokesman for Berlin police told The Local on Tuesday: "There are a lot of witnesses who need to be heard, and after that we can bring charges – but that will take time.”

He added the shop had not yet confirmed to investigators exactly what had been stolen, so there was as yet no estimate of the heist's value.

The same shop was also the target of a ram-raid burglary in August 2011, Tagesspiegel reported.

The criminals drove a stolen Volvo directly into the shopping arcade around 3:45am before ramming the car through the store's window, stealing luxury watches and escaping on foot to a getaway vehicle waiting outside, according to police.

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