Nine-year-old Hamburg boy stops attempt to snatch newborn baby brother | News | DW | 01.08.2016
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Nine-year-old Hamburg boy stops attempt to snatch newborn baby brother

Police have praised the actions of nine-year-old boy who stopped his newly-born baby brother being taken from a hospital in the German city of Hamburg. The mother had been sleeping when a woman attempted the abduction.

Police on Monday said they had arrested a 34-year-old woman who attempted the take a newborn from a hospital in the Hamburg district of Heimfeld.

The suspect was accused of trying to abduct the day-old baby while his mother slept.

"At the time of the offense, the suspect entered the sleeping mother's room and took the infant from neighboring bed," said police spokesman Ulf Wundrack.

The woman then made her way through the hospital building unaware that she was being followed by the baby's older brother, who confronted her. The woman handed the baby over immediately, and was subsequently detained and arrested while she was still in the hospital building.

Wundrack said the boy's actions had contributed "significantly" to the child's safe return.

Officials said the suspect was likely suffering from mental illness. "She gave the impression of being mentally confused and was transferred to the care of the emergency psychiatry service to be treated as an inpatient."

Although the woman was said to be known to police, further details as to her motives were unclear.

rc/kms (AFP, AP)