Thieves break into nearly 6,000 cellars in Vienna
A criminal gang who broke into nearly 6000 cellars in Vienna in just under a year, managing to steal €300,000 worth of goods, have been arrested after being caught in the act by police.
The suspects were caught after a victim discovered her stolen bike in a second hand shop in the district of Simmering and called police.
Investigators soon realised that all 38 bikes on sale at the shop were in fact stolen property.
They managed to identify the perpetrators after video surveillance showed them bringing the bikes to the shop to sell them to the owner.
Police then launched an investigation into other local businesses and found the suspected bike thieves had sold on more than 1,400 stolen items, including drills, work tools, fishing equipment, and a scooter.
All items had been stolen from around 5,600 cellars in the city over the course of a year.
Authorities tracked down the culprits to the Vienna district of Favoriten where they observed them dressed up in workers clothes, pretending to work for a pest control company and coming out of cellars carrying bags of goods.
Police then followed the two men - a 29 and 31-year-old - to a shop where they were seized as they tried to sell the goods to the shop owner. They later confessed in a police interview.
“Every day they diligently went about their break-ins as everyone else goes to work,” said police spokesman Roman Hahslinger.
A third suspect - a 25-year-old man - was also arrested in connection to the robberies.