Cheeky thief caught after returning for swag bag

They say criminals can't resist returning to the scene of their crime. That was certainly true of one shoplifter in Dortmund, who was nabbed in the most slapstick of circumstances on Tuesday.

Cheeky thief caught after returning for swag bag
If you're going to shoplift it's good manners to bring your own bag. Photo: DPA

If as a criminal you absolutely must return to the scene of your crime, it's probably best to leave it a for few hours or days after you commit the deed.

And when you do, better to keep it on the down low, rather than ask the very people you've robbed for their help.

But it seems one crook from the outskirts of Dortmund forgot to read the beginners' guide.

After almost getting caught stealing a bottle of Jägermeister from an off-license – the man was followed by a customer who eventually lost him – he went on to steal two T-shirts from a clothing store, police reported on Wednesday.

He disappeared, but came back ten minutes later, laden with stolen wares from other shops, and asked for a bag to put his stash in.

When the sales assistant questioned him about the stolen goods he fled.

The police apprehended the man shortly afterwards and found him with four T-shirts, two bottles of detergent, a compact rain jacket, two toy hedgehogs, an aromatic candle and a bottle of hair gel, which had been stolen from five separate shops.

With this eclectic and puzzling booty on him, no wonder he needed a bag.

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Germany’s Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’

Germany's Scheffelbrücke might not seem like much to look at, but by some accounts it is the most expensive bridge in the world. Here’s what you need to know.

Germany's Scheffelbrücke: Everything you need to know about the ‘world’s most expensive bridge’
The Scheffelbrücke in Baden-Württemburg isn't known for its astounding beauty or engineering prowess - but it is known for its price tag. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

If you’re travelling near the Swiss border, you might come across the Scheffelbrücke – a quiet, two-lane bridge over the Radolfzeller Aach in Baden-Württemburg. 

By bridge standards, the 20-metre concrete construction seems relatively unremarkable – until you take a look at the engraved sign on the side which quotes the price tag. 

A sign on the bridge references the incredible price of the bridge: 1,520,940,901,926,024 Deutschmarks. 

That’s 1,500 trillion marks. 

Why is the Scheffelbrücke Germany’s most expensive bridge – and why is it so drab?

While Germany has the money and the landscape to have some expensive bridges, that over the Aach hardly rivals the Golden Gate, London Bridge or Sydney Harbour for elegance or ingenuity. 

The bridge, completed in 1923, takes the name of Joseph Victor von Scheffel, a German writer who will forever be associated with the glorified concrete slab. 

While one might suspect pork barrelling or crafty accounting as a reason for the astonishing cost – or perhaps a trick to reel in the tourists to the otherwise unassuming village of Singen – the cost is in fact real.

The high price is a consequence of the out of control post-World War One inflation which hit Germany, where money almost completely lost its value. 

A sign for the bridge reveals its extortionate building costs. Photo: Heinz Seehagel, Creative Commons.

Local authorities, wanting to boost the economy, signed off on the bridge as an infrastructure project. 

As a consequence, some local workers presumably became millionaires as a consequence – although there was perhaps little meaning to the idea of being a millionaire when a billion would only buy you a concrete bridge. 

Fortunately, Germany was able to bring inflation under control and wheelbarrows full of money were no longer required to purchase basic things.

And almost a century later, when not taking wacky inflation into account, Germany’s ‘most expensive bridge in the world’ no longer has that title. 

That goes to the Oakland Bay Bridge in San Francisco (no, not the Golden Gate but the other one), which cost 6.3 billion US dollars – or roughly 5.2 billion euro  – to build. 

The Oakland Bay Bridge however goes for eight kilometres and possesses some of the aesthetic qualities which one would expect from the most expensive bridge in the world.