Albanian asylum-seeker suspect in 55 burglaries
An asylum-seeker from Albania has been arrested by police in Eferding, as the chief suspect in up to 55 separate break-ins. A pair of men were suspected as being involved.
The burglaries took place in Salzburg and Upper Austria over several months from December 2013 until the end of April 2014.
In each case, the perpetrators gained entry by drilling into the wooden frames of windows, earning himself the nickname of "Window Driller."
According to the Upper Austria Nachrichten portal, the perpetrators stole mainly cash, jewelry, cell phones, laptops and tablets. In seven cases, the suspects also stole car keys from the living areas, and then also the corresponding cars that were parked in the garages and carports.
Just before Christmas, the two suspects were almost caught red-handed in Eferding. Police gave chase to the men in their stolen car, but they broke through a fence, dumped the car in a field and made their escape in the darkness.
After intense investigation, the 39-year-old chief suspect was arrested in Eferding, and has been remanded into custody for further questioning in Linz. He denies any involvement in the crimes.