Tuesday, June 24, 2008

An acrobatic crime

I'm intrigued by a report in the International Herald Tribune.

Six Romanians have been arrested on allegations they stole mobile phones and laptops in a daring heist from a tractor-trailer as it roared down the German autobahn at 60 miles (100 kilometers) an hour, Dortmund police said Tuesday.

"It was an extremely dangerous stunt — like an action film," said Manfred Radecke, a spokesman for Dortmund police.

Officers, having been tipped off about the gang's tactics, were able to stake out an area and watch them in action last week, Radecke said.

In the nighttime darkness, with their lights off, the men drove up behind a transport truck.

Once in place, one man climbed onto the hood of his own car, then used a bolt cutter to break a lock on the trailer door before heaving it opening and climbing inside. He then handed boxes of electronics back to a second man on the car hood, who loaded them into the thieves' vehicle, Radecke said.

A second car blocked the left lane during the operation to prevent other cars from pulling too close, he said.

Because both cars had their headlights off, Radecke said, the truck driver never noticed he was being robbed.

Daring, risky, and audacious for sure. I can't help but wonder, though, how successful this would have been in the long term. It can only have been a matter of time before someone fell under the wheels of the truck or one of the cars.


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