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OFFBEAT

Thief in Kassel saws down tree in effort to steal €2,000 bike

A yet unknown thief used a saw to cut down a tree at the weekend in the central German city of Kassel in order to steal an expensive mountain bike.

Thief in Kassel saws down tree in effort to steal €2,000 bike
Illustrative image of a bike locked to a tree. Photo: DPA

The 28-year-old owner of the bike had locked it to a tree at Kassel’s Friedrichsplatz on Friday only to notice it had disappeared we he returned to it on Tuesday.

But it wasn’t just the bike which was missing. A significant portion of the tree was missing too.

The tree was 13-years-old and had a circumference of 50 centimetres, a police spokesperson said on Thursday.

Based on how the stump looked, the perpetrator must have had a good idea of how to professionally fell the tree so that it fell in the right direction, the Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeine (HNA) reported on Wednesday.

According to the environmental administrative office, damage to the tree amounts to €5,000.

The 28-year-old coughed up €2,200 for the bike when he purchased it in 2015.

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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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