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CRIME

Thieves tunnel into jewellery display case

A jewellery shop owner opened up on Monday to find that thieves had tunnelled into his store from the basement of the shopping complex and made off with his diamond display.

Thieves tunnel into jewellery display case
Yoink. Photo: DPA

"To have someone dig a tunnel from below the shop into a display case is a very unusual case," Cologne spokesperson Chritoph Gilles told The Local.

As the 54-year-old owner of the Goldfinger shop in the northern suburb of Chorweiler entered his store on Monday, he noticed a hole in the floor of his display case. Police said that the hole was big enough for a person to fit in.

Gone were enough diamonds to leave the merchant with an estimated six-figure loss. The perpetrators left behind the display cases.

According to Gilles, the path of the crime showed that the thief or thieves first broke into a garbage room of a neighbouring building. From there, they were able to get into the basement through a trapdoor.

The thieves then bored through the cement and steel floor directly into a jewellery display case holding the gems.

Gilles said the owner didn't realize anything had happened until it was too late.

"There are security blinds on the shop's windows, so no one would have noticed anything until the shop opened up again," he said. That leaves the time frame for when the crime occurred anywhere between Saturday at 4.00pm when Goldfinger closed shop and when he opened up again on Monday morning.

Police are now appealing to witnesses who may have noticed anything between the various sites the perpetrator or perpetrators went through to pull off the heist. 

SEE ALSO: The Local France: Monopoly money used to pay for €6 million jewels

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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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