Two pickpockets struck an ICE train and stole a laptop. As they chatted in Arabic about what to steal next, a fellow passenger listened intently – and informed the train crew.

After two pickpockets in an ICE train from Düsseldorf to Cologne had already stolen a laptop from a passenger traveling with them, they made further thieves’ plans: Which pieces of luggage made the most lucrative impression – and should they be their next?

The two, 16 and 17-year-olds, exchanged ideas in Arabic, apparently not giving a thought to anyone overhearing. A mistake, because: A 38-year-old passenger from Bielefeld overheard the conversation – and understood every word. The woman informed the train staff.

Not the suspects’ first spree

The Deutsche Bahn employees then asked in the train compartment whether one of the passengers was missing any luggage. It turned out that a 31-year-old from Berlin was missing a laptop.

When the ICE reached the Cologne train station, the federal police were already on the platform and awaiting the train. The officers found the said laptop with the suspected youths. For at least one of them, it is said that this was not his first spree: the public prosecutors in Essen, Duisburg and Münster were already looking for him for theft, among other things.

Teens taken to police station

The federal police notified the youth welfare office and temporarily arrested the youth. He is now facing criminal proceedings for a particularly serious case of theft and for fraudulently obtaining benefits, since neither of the two suspects was able to produce a valid driver’s license. After they were treated by officials for identification purposes, they were allowed to leave the police station again.

Sources: Federal Police press release, RTL