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CRIME

Thief with leather fetish steals 50 ladies jackets

A thief with a fetish for ladies leather jackets has received a 17 month sentence after he stole as many as 50 leather jackets from cloakrooms, schools and cars over a two year period.

Thief with leather fetish steals 50 ladies jackets
Maria Morri/Creative Commons

The 21-year-old man was caught in June last year trying to steal a leather coat from a school in Bregenz and when questioned by police admitted it was not the first time.

The man admitted his guilt from the beginning and blamed a personality disorder, with prosecutors describing him as having a sexual interest in women’s leather jackets.

Appearing in the Feldkirch provincial court on Tuesday he received a 17 month sentence, 12 months of which are suspended. He has already spent five months in custody and will be released on condition that he continues with a therapy programme.

Since May 2013 the man was said to have broken into 19 cloakrooms and 12 cars with the intention of stealing between 40 and 50 leather jackets.

He also targeted schools and even snatched jackets from two young women while they were wearing them walking down the street.

He told the court his intention was just to take the jackets and never to take any valuables inside.

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CRIME

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a people smuggler to seven years in prison over the deaths of two Syrians who suffocated in the crammed minivan he was driving, Austria's news agency reported.

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

The bodies of the two men were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Thirty people in total were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene but was later arrested in Latvia and extradited.

The 19-year-old Latvian was found guilty of people smuggling and causing fatal injuries, but was not found guilty of murder, APA reported.

READ MORE: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

He said he would accept the verdict, but the prosecution can still appeal it, APA said.

A court spokeswoman could not immediately be reached by AFP. 

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of mostly Syrians, including the two found suffocated, from Hungary to Austria.

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, the ministry said.

Those smuggled, including children, were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

The October discovery of the dead men recalled a dire event in August 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border.

Almost four years later, the Hungarian courts sentenced their smugglers to life imprisonment.

The emotion aroused by that tragedy triggered a brief opening of the borders to hundreds of thousands of people wishing to reach Western Europe.

But Austria and other European countries have since fortified borders to stop people smuggling.

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