• Austria's news in English
Austrian police help catch Bulgarian burglars

Austrian police help catch Bulgarian burglars

The Local · 4 Mar 2016, 16:52

Published: 04 Mar 2016 16:52 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The criminals moved into the Munich area in November 2015 and in four months robbed 32 houses in the city and up to fifty across south eastern Germany, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

Normally approaching through the garden after nightfall, they would break in through terrace doors and make away with whatever valuables came readily to hand.

Often this was silver, gold and expensive electronics - one particularly valuable booty was a 100-piece silver cutlery set.

Police estimate the total worth of the gang’s haul to run into the hundreds of thousands of euros.

The tricky burglars often failed to commit the perfect crime. On one occasion the 37-year-old head of the group left a fingerprint behind - on another traces of DNA.

But the key piece of the puzzle Munich cops needed to close the noose was provided to them by a camera which had been set up to record pet cats playing with each other.

During the break-in the gang leader looked directly into the camera without realising what he’d done.

Munich Police HQ sent the image around their colleagues in other German states, and even contacted police in neighbouring countries to see if anything showed up.

They were in luck. Austrian police identified the man as Ivo B. from Bulgaria. And Bulgarian authorities confirmed he’d already spent 10 years in jail there for various offences.

Story continues below…

Last Sunday police made their move, swooping on the 37-year-old and a 20-year-old accomplice  at a hotel in Landsberg, a town twenty minutes to the west of Munich.

The next day they arrested two further members of the group, one 28, the other 34 years old.

But for the police the work is far from over. They now have to work out who the men were working with to get rid of the stolen goods and how the valuables might be recovered.

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

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