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CRIME

Burglars coast to €1m theme park haul

Two opportunistic burglars have had the time of their lives at Phantasialand theme park near Cologne, and without going on any of the rides. The pair snuck into the park during a party and reportedly stole almost €1 million in cash.

Burglars coast to €1m theme park haul
A couple enjoying the festivities. Photo: Fantasypride

Saturday was party time at Phantasialand theme park near Cologne, as thousands of people flocked to the annual gay pride celebration Fantasypride.

But organizers will have suffered the hangover from hell on Sunday morning after finding the entire receipts of the weekend missing, according to reports in Bild.

The festival was jammed full of live music, DJs and even a wet t-shirt contest, but the main drama came from an unexpected source.

Florian and Sascha just can't contain their excitement at the festival. Photo: Fantasypride

A pair of partygoers enjoying the Phantasialand park in Cologne. Photo: Fantasypride

While the festivities were still in full swing at 11pm on Saturday night, a devious burglar duo managed to break into the ticket office via neighbouring buildings.

They then smashed a hole in the wall in order to get past the alarmed door. It didn’t take them long to make the big heist, as they knew exactly where the key to the safe was hidden.

The entire profits for the festival were inside the safe, and so the burglars got their hands on around €1 million.

By the time the guards discovered the break-in the next morning, the culprits were long gone. The police did not want to reveal whether the thieves were caught on CCTV footage.

At this early stage of the investigation only one thing seems clear – that the burglar duo must have received help from somebody on the inside, because they knew their way around so well. 

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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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