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Austrian scratches 1,000 cars around Styria

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Austrian scratches 1,000 cars around Styria
Photo: Tobias Toft/Creative Common
11:53 CEST+02:00
Austrian police say they are unable to do anything to stop a woman continuing to scratch cars after a court ruled she could not be held accountable for her actions due to her mental health.

Police in Styria say the 35-year-old has scratched around 1,000 cars for about six years and that new victims are always coming forward.

They say, however, that there is not much they can do as until the woman is reported for a crime with a punishment of at least a year in jail, the courts are unable to send her to an psychiatric institute for criminals.

“As long as the legal situation stays as it is, our hands are unfortunately tied. Neither police nor the state prosecutors can do anything at this moment,” said police commander Dietmar Jeglitsch.

After the woman was reported to the courts last year, a psychiatric expert said she could not be held legally responsible due to her mental health.

Police say around 1,000 people, including a police officer, have been targeted by the car scratching although the figure is “likely to be much higher”.

“There is always a zig zag pattern. The woman mainly chooses black vehicles,” said Jeglitsch.

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