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CRIME

Germany’s most wanted criminal dodges police on bike

Police have come to within arm’s length of Germany’s most wanted criminal, Thomas Wolf , but he is still on the run, having ditched a car and escaped on a bicycle with no saddle.

Germany's most wanted criminal dodges police on bike
Photo: DPA

The 56-year-old, who has a price of €100,000 on his head, escaped from prison in 2000, and has a string of convictions, for bank robbery, making bomb threats, kidnapping and various violent crimes.

Police say he has been in prison or on the run for most of his life. He last surfaced at the end of March, when he kidnapped the wife of a Wiesbaden banker and took delivery of €1.8 million ransom money, leaving her tied to a tree.

Since then he has been on the run with a silver VW Golf – which was found on Friday afternoon in a wood near the village of Harpstedt in Lower Saxony.

Police say it seems as if Wolf had been sleeping in the car for a number of nights. But at some point on Friday he left the vehicle in panic after it became stuck in a muddy patch of ground.

He left the car unlocked, with the keys still in the ignition. Some of his personal belongings were left in the car too, including the saddle of a bicycle, a fact that led police to conclude he is probably on the run on the bike.

Police are now trying to work out what made him leave the car and go on the run.

In April 2000 he robbed a bank in Hamburg, leaving with 500,000 Marks, followed by an attempted bank robbery in 2002 in Brussels and a kidnapping in Eindhoven, Holland in 2003.

Between his crimes, Wolf leads a normal life, most recently living with a woman in Frankfurt under the pseudonym of David van Dyk.

He is known to have used at least 14 aliases, and have left a trail of crimes in Scotland, England, Holland and across Germany.

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CRIME

No sign of terror motive in knife attack on German train

German prosecutors said Thursday there was no indication of a terrorist motive in a knife attack on a train that killed two teenagers and wounded several other passengers.

No sign of terror motive in knife attack on German train

German prosecutors said Thursday there was no indication of a terrorist motive in a knife attack on a train that killed two teenagers and wounded several other passengers.

A 33-year-old suspect named only as Ibrahim A., a stateless man of Palestinian origin, has been detained over Wednesday’s stabbing spree on the route between the northern cities of Hamburg and Kiel.

“There are no indications of a terrorist background,” Peter Mueller-Rakow, a spokesman for the local prosecutor’s office, told AFP.

The investigation into the attack and the suspect’s history was ongoing, he added.

A 17-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man were killed in the attack and five people injured, Sabine Sütterlin-Waack, the interior minister for Schleswig-Holstein state, told journalists.

Authorities had previously given the girl’s age as 16 and said seven people were injured.

Two of the wounded have life-threatening injuries and are still in hospital, Suetterlin-Waack said.

The two teenagers who were killed knew each other, she added.

The suspect also sustained minor injuries, but it was unclear how.

Investigators found blood in four carriages of the train, Sütterlin-Waack said.

Passengers helped overpower the suspect and restrained him until police detained him at a railway station in the town of Brokstedt.

“Due to the very dynamic course of the crime, a lot is still unclear,” Suetterlin-Waack said.

The suspect, of no fixed abode, had only recently been released from prison in connection with an assault case, said police.

He arrived in Germany 2014 and had several previous convictions, including for violent crimes, Sütterlin-Waack said.

READ ALSO: Two dead in knife attack on train in northern Germany

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