Three people are known to have stolen a large amount of parts from the Mercedes Benz engine factory. The damage runs into millions.
After a long and intensive investigation, Stuttgart’s criminal police have tracked down a trio who are said to have stolen large amounts of parts from the factory of car manufacturer Mercedes Benz. The value of the loot is given as several million euros. They took the engines and transmissions out of the factory. Two of the three suspects are now in custody, the police and the public prosecutor announced.
The series of thefts is said to have started in February 2020. At first glance, one might think it took an unusually long time for the police to get involved – after all, two and a half years have passed since then. But the car manufacturer, which according to our newspaper is the Daimler company, has sounded the alarm some time ago. The police were already on the scene two years ago, in August 2020, and had started investigations.
Police did not reveal why it took another two years. During this time, however, she gathered evidence that, from the public prosecutor’s point of view, was now sufficient to apply for an arrest warrant against the trio and obtain a search warrant.
The three men’s loot is said to be more than 100 combustion engines and more than 500 gearboxes, which they disappeared into the automaker’s central warehouse. Police are not disclosing how they did it logistically for reasons of investigative tactics — and possibly to protect against potential copycats.
The parts are said to have been procured by two of the three suspects who also worked there. They are 52 and 57 years old. The police were able to arrest her on Tuesday, but not her 36-year-old accomplice. He was not found at his address. Currently, it is not known where the 36-year-old suspect is.
The third suspect is still being sought
After the arrest, police searched the homes of the three men in Stuttgart, Esslingen and the Schwäbisch Hall district. They also looked around at a warehouse in Backnang where parts of the loot were kept. Investigators recovered some of the vehicles’ stolen combustion engines and transmissions. But many of them have already been sold, says a police spokesman. During the searches, they found not only the loot that was still there, but also other evidence that now needs to be evaluated.
Arrest warrants had already been issued against the men, for which the Stuttgart public prosecutor had applied. A judge has charged the 52-year-old and the 57-year-old suspect on Tuesday, they have been sent to custody. Kripo not only has to continue to investigate how the group operated and how they sold the loot. Above all, she must find the accomplices of the two men who are already in custody. The 36-year-old is the only one in the group who did not work for carmaker Daimler, according to the police spokesman.
Similar cases happen again and again. In the spring of 2021, for example, eight men were on trial for stealing pallets of parts from the Sindelfingen Daimler plant. Among other things, they targeted Mercedes’ electronic control units, headlights and stars, which they removed from their cars. The damage was not as great as in the present case: it was at least several hundred thousand euros.