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CRIME

Thieves open 1,000 beers, don’t drink any

Thieves broke into a drink shop last weekend aiming to find bottle caps that would entitle them to a high-value prize in a contest – and left more than 1,000 bottles of beer they opened untasted.

Thieves open 1,000 beers, don't drink any
Opened bottles at the drinks market with non-winning bottle caps collected by police. Photo: DPA

Police in Mülheim, North Rhine-Westphalia reported on Tuesday that the thieves headed directly for the part of the shop where pallets of beer from a brewery in neighbouring Duisburg were being stored.

“Apparently, they opened well over 1,000 bottles just to get to the tokens attached to the bottle caps,” the officers wrote.

A spokesman for Trinkgut Schmidt KG told The Local that the firm didn't want to comment on the incident until the police had finished their investigation.

The first responders found dozens of non-winning bottle caps strewn around the floor of the shop – but not a single empty bottle.

Police are now appealing for witnesses who might have seen anything suspicious in the area.

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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