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Austrian police stumped by spate of cowbell thefts

Who would steal cowbells from cows grazing in the Austrian mountains? That's what police are asking themselves.

Austrian police stumped by spate of cowbell thefts
Austrian cows wearing traditional headdress during the cattle drive. Photo: sasimoto/Depositphotos.com

Austrian police are looking for thieves who stole bells from cows grazing in three pastures in the west of the alpine country, a spokesman said on Monday.

“Of course people may wonder why someone would steal a cowbell,” Bernhard Gruber, a police spokesman from the Tyrol region, told AFP.

He said police were still investigating the three thefts, which all occurred this month, totalling 10 cowbells. They suspect the thieves in at least the last two cases were the same.

Gruber estimated that the bells were worth a total of around €500 ($550).

“They don't have a high material value… but for the farmers themselves it's more the sentimental value,” Gruber said.

READ ALSO: Dutch anti-cowbell campaigner handed Swiss citizenship

Many breeders take their cattle to graze in mountain pastures in the spring, bringing them back down before winter.

The festive cattle drive in late September or early October – featuring farmers wearing traditional lederhosen and cows festooned with flowers – is a popular tourist draw.

LIVING IN AUSTRIA

‘Decomposing smell’: Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

Austria's police department said they were called to an apartment complex in Vienna after a person was concerned about a "smell of decomposition".

'Decomposing smell': Austrian police called due to smelly shoes

This week, the Viennese police department started a weekly ‘series’ of sharing interesting stories on their social media accounts

Calling the series ‘Misunderstanding Wednesday’ (Missverständnismittwoch), the very first post is about a call they received to an apartment complex after a concerned citizen complained to emergency services about a “smell of decomposition in the staircase”.

READ ALSO: Stephansdom: Vienna woken up after hacker sets church bells to ring at 2am

The alleged corpse, it turns out, was just the neighbour’s smelly shoes which were left in the building corridor, in front of their apartment.

The police didn’t say when exactly the incident took place.

“When our colleagues are called because of the ‘smell of decomposition in the staircase’… and notice that the stunk is from the neighbour’s shoes which were left in front of the apartment door”, the official Twitter account of the Vienna police department reads.

‘When in doubt it is an emergency’

The authorities were light-hearted about the misunderstanding, even sharing a “meme-like” picture on their social media accounts, saying “some missions turn out to be different than initially assumed”.

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

However, they reiterated that the misunderstandings should not deter people from calling 133, the emergency police number. They added that in case of emergencies and even if you are not sure, the authorities should be called and they will assist you.

“Note: in case of doubt, it is an emergency”, the Vienna police department says. “Never be afraid to dial the emergency number.”

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