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CRIME

Robber beats retreat after children offer savings

An armed robber who held up a babysitter at gunpoint in Lower Saxony was shamed into leaving empty-handed by the two young children of the house who offered him their pocket money.

Robber beats retreat after children offer savings
Photo: DPA

The man had rung the doorbell of the house in the northern town of Schwanewede near Bremen on Monday evening, and forced his way in.

Wearing a balaclava and a long black coat, the man had the terrified babysitter at gunpoint when the children she was looking after, came downstairs.

When they offered him their savings, he was obviously overcome with shame and left the house without a word – or a cent.

“The children had heard what was going on from upstairs and came down with their money, all their savings,” a police spokesman told The Local on Wednesday.

He said he was not releasing the ages of the children in order to protect them from being identified, but that they were both younger than seven.

“The robber must have realised what he was doing was awful, and simply put his gun away and left,” said the spokesman.

The authorities are now looking for the would-be robber, described as in his early twenties, 185 centimetres tall and thin.

The Local/hc

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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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