The sausages at Curry Paule in the southern district of Neukölln had already sold out last Friday evening. The queues of Berliners hungry for their famous local delicacy had long since disappeared.
Then one final customer turned up at the kiosk.
“I told him there’s nothing more to eat here,” the 54-year-old later recalled to the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “Then he pulled out a knife and said he didn’t want anything to eat, he wanted money.”
She protested that her boss had already taken the cash to the bank and showed him the empty till to prove it. She then offered him her mobile phone and wallet but he didn’t want them.
“At some point he said he was jobless and hungry. I told him the cookers were already turned off and there was nothing warm to eat,” Gabriella S. said.
So she offered him the only food they had left – a bowl of potato salad.
He took it gladly, but then demanded a beer to wash it down. But the sausage seller told him she didn’t sell alcohol.
“It went back and forth a bit, and I ended up giving him two energy drinks.”
“Suddenly he said that he knew he was being recorded, so I bent over to him and said ‘Maybe you’re mad. You do realise you’re committing a hold up for a potato salad? This is going to the police!’”
As the stand-off had gone on, Gabriela S. had managed to activate a silent alarm, alerting the cops. But it seems that her cool observation brought the desperate thief to his senses.
He turned and jumped onto his bike and made his getaway – long before the cops arrived on the scene.
But the Gabriela S. has taken the cops' tardiness philosophically.
“I’m not so sad the police didn’t show up on time – the guy was still standing next to me with a knife. What would he have done when they arrived? You can never really know.”