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CRIME

Police collar robber who threatened bank with bomb

Frankfurt police have captured a robber who threatened to detonate a bomb inside a bank in the German financial capital on Monday morning.

Police collar robber who threatened bank with bomb
File photo: DPA

The man entered the branch on a large main road in the Dornbusch area north of the city centre at around 9.40 am.

He said that he had a bomb and was prepared to blow himself up, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reported.

A police spokesman told the Frankfurter Rundschau that the robber had placed a package on the bank counter that staff believed to be a bomb.

After the cashiers handed over an unknown amount of cash, the robber fled – only to be caught around an hour later by police at the city's convention grounds (Messegelände).

Law enforcement tweeted that they had got their man at 10.44 am, adding that no-one was hurt.

Police had launched a huge search involving large numbers of officers and a helicopter.

A bomb dog sent to the bank found no trace of explosives, police tweeted.

That allowed the lifting of a blockade on the streets and U-Bahn stations on the U1, U2, U3 and U8 lines around the branch – although there were continuing delays on some lines.

SEE ALSO: Inept criminals blast roof off bank outside Berlin

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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.

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