• Germany's news in English
Crime writer in court for failed robbery - just like in his book
File photo: DPA

Crime writer in court for failed robbery - just like in his book

The Local · 22 Jul 2016, 12:57

Published: 22 Jul 2016 09:57 GMT+02:00
Updated: 22 Jul 2016 12:57 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sometimes there's a fine line between truth and fiction.

Just like the character in his novel, the defendant found himself struggling financially and decided to resort to drastic means to resolve the situation - namely, a bank robbery. However, just like in the novel, his plan didn't quite work out.

Perhaps he should have seen that coming.

The incident took place on January 26th this year in Lützschena-Stahmeln, a district of Leipzig in eastern Germany.

According to a police report at the time, the defendant entered a branch of the Sparkasse bank at the end of the day, wearing a mask and carrying an alarm gun. He reportedly pointed the gun at staff, demanding that they hand over money, and ordered customers to lie on the floor.

But when a bank employee handed over the cash, the defendant wasn't satisfied and demanded the contents of the safe as well - but the bank's security system prevented the safe being opened until after a time delay. After 25 minutes in the bank, the accused left with almost €40,000.

However, the writer only made it a few meters from the branch before police caught up with him.

A passerby had seen the would-be robber enter the bank with the gun, and had contacted emergency services. Meanwhile, the bank's security firm had been alerted and was able to observe the incident using surveillance technology, allowing police to arrive on the scene in good time. The author did not resist arrest.

Incredibly, the hapless criminal seemed to use exactly the same method as his protagonist, reports local paper the Leipziger Volkszeitung.

Story continues below…

In the novel, the robber flees on a bike and hides a change of clothes behind an oak tree; when police searched the bank's surroundings, they found both a bicycle and a rucksack containing clothes (behind, you guessed it, an oak tree) and the suspect's DNA was found on both objects.

State prosecutor Hans-Joachim Walburg charged the defendant with extortion under threat of force, extortionate abduction and illegally carrying an alarm gun.

A presiding judge at Leipzig's regional court confirmed to The Local that the indictment had been read out in court, and although the 49-year-old suspect, who has lived in Leipzig for 20 years and has been in custody since the crime took place, had not yet entered a plea, his defence lawyer has announced his intention to plead guilty.

The trial is set to take place from August 10th-15th.


For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Obama to visit Berlin in last presidential trip to Germany
President Barack Obama and Chancellor Angela Merkel during a Berlin trip in 2013. Photo: DPA.

The White House announced on Tuesday that US President Barack Obama will be paying one last unexpected visit to the German capital - his last before he leaves office.

Hostility towards minorities 'widespread in Bavaria'
A village in southern Bavaria. Photo: DPA.

Hate and hostility towards groups deemed to be different are not just sentiments felt by fringe extremists, a new report on Bavaria shows.

Hated RB Leipzig emerge as shock challengers to Bayern
RB Leipzig. Photo: DPA

RB Leipzig's remarkable unbeaten start to the Bundesliga season has seen them suddenly emerge at the head of the pack chasing reigning champions and league leaders Bayern Munich.

Munich taxi driver in hospital after attack by British tourists
Photo: DPA

A taxi driver had to be hospitalized in Munich on Monday evening after three British tourists refused to pay their fare and then attacked him.

German police carry out nationwide anti-terror raids
Police outside a building in Jena during raids on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Police forces in five German states carried out raids on Tuesday morning with the aim of tackling the financing of terror groups, police in Thuringia have reported.

The Local List
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Photo: DPA

So you've mastered German, but now it's time to learn English all over again.

Iconic German church being eroded away by human urine
Ulm Minster towering over the rest Ulm surrounding the Danube. Photo: Pixabay

It will now cost you €100 to spend a penny. That’s if you get caught choosing to pee against the world-famous Ulm Minster.

German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd