Instead of convicting thieves, two shop detectives, a 47-year-old man and a 31-year-old woman, put them under pressure and exempt them. On Tuesday they were sentenced to prison terms by the regional court. The 47-year-old was found guilty of extortion in 13 cases, the 31-year-old of aiding and abetting extortion in eight cases. The man has been imprisoned for three years and three months, the woman escaped with a year and a half on probation. “We could not find any criminal rule with the accused,” said the presiding judge in the grounds of the verdict. Both defendants had made confessions in court. In the 47-year-old, however, the court found certain “relativization tendencies”. The court ordered the confiscation of around 10,000 euros.
Victim had to pay 2000 euros
According to the findings of the judgment, the woman had alleged shoplifters in the Karstadt department store on Breite Strasse in the sales rooms and then led them into a basement office. There the 47-year-old put the allegedly convicted of shoplifting customers under pressure. People were also searched and some of them had to strip down to their underwear. In return for payment of sums of up to 2000 euros, the victims – mostly women – were given the prospect that no report would be made to the police. The victims were then accompanied by the 31-year-old to the EC machine, where they had to withdraw the amount of money under supervision.
Karstadt had no direct knowledge of the activities of the two defendants. However, the chairman stated: “The Karstadt company made it easy for the accused to commit the offenses.” According to this, the practice of withdrawing money while being accompanied at the ATM was well known, as a witness testified. However, the company believed that it was about collecting the contractual penalty of 100 euros that every shoplifter has to pay.