Police hunt suspected female gang in Hamburg

Hamburg police are hot on the heels of an unusual band of suspected burglars - a gang of three young women who have been spotted near the sites of break-ins in the south of the city.

Police hunt suspected female gang in Hamburg
The three young criminals. Photo: Hamburg Police

By outward appearances they look like a perfectly normal group of female friends in their early twenties, sharing a care-free joke as they ride the bus or stroll down the street. They're well-dressed, done up in make-up and each of them is carrying a big, spacious handbag.

But pictures released by police of three young women show a band of alleged criminals who police suspect have been attempting daring break-ins in the wealthy port city.

The three women can be seen in three different pictures, taken on three separate occasions as passersby reported seeing them breaking into houses in June.

The young Hamburgers' alleged crime spree appears to have begun on June 4th.

A neighbour came to the rescue as the women tried to break the lock on a door in the Neugraben-Fischbeck neighbourhood. The women fled but the civic-minded neighbour managed to snap a photo of them as they went.

The trio, in the company of a man, on June 4th. Photo: Hamburg Police

A week later the group were foiled again as they were forcing their way through the window of a house in the Sinsdorf district. This time a burglar alarm alerted a pedestrian to their criminal act.

The young women didn't wait long before they were back to their law-breaking ways. But on June 16th they were once again out of luck.

Attentive neighbours heard strange sounds in their hallway and sent the young women packing as they attempted to break the lock on a house in Barmbeck.

A police spokesperson could not confirm to The Local whether the women may have been linked to further crimes in the intervening period or whether they have decided to hang up their handbags for good.

But he did say that it is more common than one might think for woman to be involved in break-ins.

“They are breaking into empty family homes and, in terms of the strength required to break in, when you have the right equipment, it is not important if you are a man or a woman,” the spokesperson said.

Police “regularly” deal with reports of break-ins by women, he confirmed.

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German woman ‘killed lookalike to fake her own death’

A German-Iraqi woman murdered a lookalike she found on social media to fake her own death, police have said as new details emerge of the bizarre case that first came to light last year.

German woman 'killed lookalike to fake her own death'

The body of a 23-year-old woman was found in a car in August at the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt with multiple stab wounds.

Police initially said they believed the victim owned the car, but the next day identified her as someone else who looked “remarkably similar”.

The 23-year-old German-Iraqi and a 23-year-old Kosovan man were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

However, police are now working on the theory the pair murdered the victim after tracking her down online because she looked similar to the German-Iraqi.

“Investigators now believe the female suspect wanted to go into hiding and fake her death due to family problems,” they said in a statement Monday.

She had contacted several women who looked like her via social media and attempted to lure them into meeting her by making “false promises”, the police said.

She contacted the victim in early August and arranged to meet her on August 16.

The German-Iraqi woman and the Kosovan man travelled to the victim’s home in Heilbronn, near Stuttgart, to pick her up.

On the way back to Ingolstadt, they allegedly lured her out of the vehicle in a wooded area and killed her, inflicting “a large number” of knife wounds.

The suspects then continued on to Ingolstadt, where the body was found lying in the car in the evening.

According to the daily Süddeustche Zeitung, the German-Iraqi was a beautician who entrapped the victim via Instagram by offering her cosmetics.

Both women had “long brown hair, a dark complexion and a heavily made-up face”, the newspaper said.