The 26-year-old is believed to have been behind a spate of attacks on cars in the north Bavarian towns of Würzburg, Schweinfurt and Veitshochheim between February and April 2018, a spokesman for the Schweinfurt state court told news agency DPA.
In a months-long probe, police were left scratching their heads even after setting up a special unit dubbed “paint scraper”.
In the end it was only by chance that the suspect was caught.
A local resident heard scraping sounds outside her home in the early hours of one April 2018 morning and called the police.
At the scene, officers found the suspect carrying a screw.
But the man is standing trial only for a fraction of the damage he is believed to have caused.
The court dismissed prosecutors' initial attempts to try him over gashes on 1,700 vehicles totalling €2.3 million of damage, for lack of evidence.
Now the state must prove a link to every one of the 642 instances of damaged bodywork judges agreed to hear.