A 24-year-old police officer is said to have stolen a lighter during a search in NRW. The incident could have drastic consequences for him.

A young police officer was supposed to search a house in North Rhine-Westphalia for possible burglars and pocketed a cheap disposable lighter – he could now lose his job for that.

The district court in Recklinghausen sentenced the 24-year-old to 90 daily fines of 80 euros each for “theft with a weapon” – the police officer was carrying his service weapon when on duty, as the court confirmed.

According to the “Bild” newspaper, the police officer wants to appeal – also because he is still working as a probationary officer and could lose his job if he is sentenced.

Camera filmed theft

The 24-year-old was called to the house with a colleague last summer because a door was open there, according to the court in the indictment. During the search, he put the lighter in a room and was filmed by an installed camera. This is how the case became known.

The policeman told the court that he considered the lighter dangerous, took it with him and left it when he left the house. In the case of small items that you can put in your pocket, the theft is considered complete from the moment of the crime, the court said. It is not possible to withdraw from the act – even if the police officer’s description is correct.