Police arrest three men for blowing up ATMs

Three men have been arrested in Berlin on suspicion of blowing up several cash machines since February, German police reported on Tuesday.

Police arrest three men for blowing up ATMs
A file photo of an April ATM explosion in Hesse. Photo: DPA

Officers from the state office of criminal investigation entered a Berlin apartment at 7 am and arrested the suspects, who are believed to have destroyed cash machines in across Schleswig-Holstein and Brandenburg.

Police caught on to the men, aged 30 to 36-years-old, after they left clues behind at a crime scene in Dithmarschen. Two of the suspects live in Brunsbüttel, Schleswig-Holstein, where authorities simultaneously searched for evidence.

“The men are suspected of igniting a gas mixture to explode the machines, which in every case caused extensive damage to the buildings where they were housed,” said the joint statement from the Schleswig-Holstein LKA and the prosecutor’s office in Itzehoe, where the suspects were taken for questioning.

Despite making a lot of noise and causing property damage with the blasts, the unlucky suspects were often unable to reach their goal of removing actual cash from the machines.


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.