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Scarf-Face Mumbles His Way Through Farcical Kiosk Heist

DW staff (nda)November 30, 2005

A robber in the northwestern German city of Cologne almost failed in his heist at a local newsstand when his tightly wrapped disguise rendered his demands unintelligible.

Scarves stop the wind getting in but also stop the words coming outImage: dpa - Bildfunk

The recent cold snap across most of northwestern Germany not only played havoc with the electricity supply and transport system but also caused the criminal fraternity a number of problems as temperatures plunged well below zero.

A robber in Cologne almost bungled a simple hold-up when his attempted armed robbery got off to a very inauspicious start. The man entered a newsagent in the city and made demands to the cashier, 24-year-old Michaela Sobor. But the robber had bound his face so tightly with a scarf that his agitated commands were unintelligible.

Victim had no idea what was being said

After a number of confused seconds where victim and perpetrator stared vacantly at each other, Sobor had to ask the robber to repeat himself, which he did but to yet still no avail. "I didn't realize it was a robbery, I just thought he had wrapped himself up warm because of the cold weather," the cashier said.

The robber's frustration obviously boiled over at this point and he abandoned his demands and forced his way behind the counter, brandishing his gun for the first time since the farcical hold-up began. It was only then did Sobor realize that she was being robbed. The man was able to make off with over almost 1,500 euros in cash.

Police are now asking for witnesses to come forward to help in their investigation.