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CRIME

Woman flees with a stranger’s baby 250 km away to Hanover

A woman has been arrested after snatching a baby from her mother in Potsdam and fleeing to Lower Saxony.

Woman flees with a stranger's baby 250 km away to Hanover
File photo: DPA.

The 19-year-old woman had approached the baby’s 35-year-old mother while she was grocery shopping with her three children on Thursday afternoon, police report.

The younger woman offered to take care of the mother’s four-month-old baby girl, who was in a carriage, while the mother brought her groceries into her flat.

When the mother returned, her baby and the woman had disappeared. The mother then called the police, who launched an extensive search with dogs, helicopters and emergency officers.

Police eventually found that the 19-year-old had fled to Lower Saxony with the baby – around 250 kilometres away from Potsdam.

Several hours later at around 8pm on Thursday, the woman was arrested in Hanover, police reported. The baby was found unharmed.

Due to organizational complications, however, the mother could not be reunited with her baby until Friday morning, a police spokesman said.

Police also reported that the 19-year-old had acted alone and did not make any demands.

Investigators so far do not believe that the woman and mother knew each other previously, and the motive behind the crime thus far remains unclear.

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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