Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Culture that is Germany VI

I am having a hard time believing that this one is real:

"German police said on Monday that they have arrested one of two British men suspected of selling bags that they said held laptops and mobile phones but which in reality contained potatoes.

Authorities believe the pair tricked around 40 people in two German states driving around in a car with British number plates, convincing them to hand over cash for the electronic hardware but giving them spuds instead.

A shopowner in Hildesheim near Hanover telephoned the police on Friday after becoming suspicious -- he had read in the paper about swindlers in a right-hand-drive car -- but the two men left the scene.

Later the same day in the same town the two men were attempting to sell laptops to a group of people that included, unfortunately for them, someone who had come across them before and who then also rang the police.

"The police were quickly at the scene but the two suspected con men fled ... They sped down Kaiserstrasse in their metallic green Opel, going through several red lights and endangering other road users," police said.

The 32-year-old man was arrested after the chase ended but the second man, aged 20 and whom the police have since identified, was able to flee on foot despite being trailed by a police helicopter. They believe he may be armed."

All this seems impossible but the article says "around 40 people" were tricked. Which leads me to wonder: Do laptops in Germany usually come in bags? Are they ovoid and lumpy? Are German mobile phones 4-5 inches thick and do they smell like dirt? Who buys a "bag of mobile phones" without looking in the bag first? What about a reverse scam, where you sell people "bags of potatoes" that actually only contain mobile phones?


Jacob Grier said...

That's a classic scam, actually. A little background here:

I do like the twist of using potatoes. At the least the mark gets something to eat!

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