There were news reports about isolated looting and robberies during the deadly German floods that killed an estimated 182 people and led to billions in damage, but only now are details coming to light about the suspects involved.
During the flooding, which hit the German states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate hard, there were robbery sprees in abandoned shops, burglars who rummaged for loot through damaged houses, and gangs who stole what few belongings owners had left to dry on streets and gardens.
Rumors that the looters were predominately foreigners was dismissed as “right-wing propaganda” or disinformation on social media. However, as more information flows in, it is becoming increasingly clear that these were not “isolated” cases, and that the vast majority of these incidents were indeed committed by foreigners.
The largest group of crime suspects during the German flood have Romanian citizenship
The Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary group, requested information from the German Ministry of the Interior of North Rhine-Westphalia, which was also made available to German newspaper Junge Freiheit. The AfD requested the data for a meeting of the interior committee on Thursday in the state parliament about looting and similar crimes recorded by the police during the floods.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, the district police authorities recorded 193 property crimes in 24 cities, of which 27 were rated as “attempts”. Property crimes include theft, particularly serious theft, break-ins, serious gang theft, and embezzlement. The damage has so far been estimated at around a quarter of a million euros, although the figures are to be regarded as provisional and may increase.
The police identified 145 suspects between the ages of 12 and 69. Suspects with Romanian citizenship made for the largest group of suspects. The police counted a total of 52 of them, while only 27 individuals born in Germany are listed in second place.
Around 81% of suspects are of non-German origin
In addition, there were 12 Turkish suspects, seven Bulgarian, seven Syrian, four Serbian, three Albanian, three Greek, three Iraqi, three Iranian, three Kosovar, and three Polish. Two suspects each came from Afghanistan, Lebanon, Morocco, Montenegro, the Netherlands, and Nigeria. The authorities also registered individual suspects from Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Congo, Lithuania, Russia, and Slovenia. Thus, 118 of the 145 suspects had no German citizenship, which corresponds to around 81 percent.
For the AfD, the overwhelming proportion of foreigners among the looters once again prove “how urgent it is to finally take off your rose-colored glasses”, according to AfD parliamentary group leader Markus Wagner.
“It is shocking when people, no matter where they come from, take advantage of the plight of others,“ he added.
The AfD has argued that Germany’s substantial increase in immigration has led to an increase in crime, terror, sexual assaults, and integration issues, which requires the German government to start implementing measures to bring immigration under control, which includes the deportation of migrant criminal convicts, which Germany currently struggles to accomplish.
Title image: A woman throws away rubbish in the center of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Germany, Monday July 19, 2021. More than 180 people died when heavy rainfall turned tiny streams into raging torrents across parts of Western Germany and Belgium, and officials put the death toll in Ahrweiler county alone at 110. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen)