Police fear that a man known locally as the “Zopfabschneider” (plait cutter) is back after going quiet for a few years. In April 2011 there were several reported incidents of a man aged between 40 and 50, who spoke the local dialect, approaching young girls and snipping off their plaits.
He was described as balding, with short grey hair and stubble. He was dressed in a black jacket with a neon green lining and blue jeans. He also wore a black woolen hat edged with blue, and brown shoes.
In the latest incident a seven-year-old girl and her nine-year-old brother were on their way to school in Bad Gleichenberg at 7.15am on Thursday when a man aged between 40 and 50 approached them, spoke to them, and walked down the road with them.
As they passed the tourism school he took a pair of silver scissors out of his jacket and cut off the little girl’s plait. He then ran away, and the children ran to school and reported what had happened.