Arrest in Germany of 3 suspects involved in theft of EUR 1.5 million worth of vehicles

On 23 February, a coordinated strike between the German Police Inspectorate Emsland/Bentheim (Polizeiinspektion Emsland/Grafschaft Bentheim), the German Dortmund Police (Polizei Dortmund) the Austrian Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt Österreich) and the Bosnian Ministry of Interior Affairs Canton Sarajevo, under the coordination of Europol, has led to the dismantlement of a gang of car thieves operating across Germany.

A total of 4 properties were searched in Dortmund. As a result, 3 suspects were arrested in and around Dortmund (Germany). 

This criminal network comprised Bosnian nationals who were residing illegally in Germany and committing crimes in the federal states of Lower Saxony, North-Rhine Westphalia and Hesse.  

They are suspected of breaking into residential buildings at night in order to steal the keys of expensive vehicles before driving off with them. The total value of the stolen vehicles exceeds EUR 1.5 million. 

This investigation was carried out in the framework of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT), together with the support of the EU funded project ‘Countering Serious Crime in the Western Balkans – IPA 2019’ implemented by the Italian, German and Dutch authorities which provided financial support for the organisation of operational meetings and the deployment of German investigators to Austria on the action day. 

Europol coordination 

  • Europol brought together the national investigators who have since been working closely together to establish a joint strategy to bring down this network.
  • Since then, Europol has provided continuous intelligence development and analysis to support the field investigators.
  • During the action day, Europol’s European Serious Organised Crime Centre deployed a mobile office to the operational centre in Dortmund, enabling a direct connection between investigators in all three countries involved.