• Austria's news in English

Police catch armoured van robbers

Staff reporter · 4 Jun 2014, 11:56

Published: 04 Jun 2014 11:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

After two witnesses came forward police were able to track the robbers down, 200 metres from Austria’s border with Hungary - and found the cash hidden in cartons of washing powder.

They arrested a 36-year-old and a 40-year-old Romanian man, together with the older man’s 22-year-old girlfriend.

One witness said he had seen a VW Golf with a Vienna number plate parked for hours outside the bank in Marchtrenk, but had noticed that the car’s occupants did not get out. He thought they were behaving suspiciously so he made a mental note of the number plate.

When he heard about the robbery - in which the drivers of the armoured car were threatened at gunpoint and left tied up in the bank - he immediately informed the police.

The second witness was a driver who was almost rammed by the crooks’ car as they sped onto the motorway near Wels.

"Whilst we were evaluating this information colleagues from Lower Austria told us that they had already been observing this car in connection with a series of break-ins," said Ferdinand Jung, from the Upper Austrian state police. Lower Austrian police knew that the suspects were staying in hotels in Vienna - and promptly discovered the getaway car.

"During our investigation we became aware of a Romanian Audi A4, and we suspected that the suspects were preparing to leave the country in this car," police chief Gottfried Mitterlehner said.

Police followed the car and arrested the suspects close to the Hungarian border. The 40-year-old man has already served four years in an Austrian prison.

Story continues below…

Initially police thought they might have made a false arrest as they didn’t see any money or weapons in the car. But on closer inspection officers found bundles of money hidden in cartons of washing powder. The older man and his girlfriend had already booked flights from Bucharest to Mykonos. 

Staff reporter (news@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available