Stickler for low prices: Bonn woman faces jail over supermarket price switches

A district court in Bonn has slapped a month-long suspended sentence on a 62-year-old woman for fraud and forgery of documents, local newspaper Express reported on Friday.

Stickler for low prices: Bonn woman faces jail over supermarket price switches
Illustrative photo of a customer in a hardware shop. Photo: DPA

During the recent trial, the trained paralegal told the court she regretted what she'd done.

On August 8th 2017, the defendant had seen a wine capsule cutter of the “Le Creuset” brand in a hardware store in Bonn and couldn’t resist exchanging its price label for a cheaper one.

After switching the product’s price tag of €10.99 with another one for €2 she’d found elsewhere, she went to the checkout, paid for her purchase and left the shop.

Little did she know though that a detective had been observing her. When the detective approached her in the parking lot, she immediately pulled out the capsule cutter and “generously returned the €2,” Birgit Niepmann, director of the district court, told Express.

The woman's brazen action is the reason why she ended up in court in Bonn and now faces a suspended sentence of one month for falsification of documents and fraud.

But it wasn’t the first time she had been caught manipulating price labels.

At the end of 2014, in a Bonn department store she switched a label of €59.95 on a cosmetics cream product with a sticker stating a price of €2.95. Two shop assistants spoke to her about it when she was about to leave the store.

She was caught for a similar deed in October 2016. At another shop in Germany’s former capital, she had re-labeled a butter dish of the brand “Blomus” from €30 to €1. After a detective approached her, she admitted to her wrongdoing.

The repeat offender has thus far accumulated fines totalling €1,800 for her actions.

Another fine for the woman’s most recent deed was no longer an option, according to judge Tanja Glessner, reported newspaper General-Anzeiger.

If she can't keep her hands off price tags for the next two years and gets caught again, she'll have to spend a month behind bars.


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.