Having detonated a pipe bomb outside a shop, the couple demanded €1m in monthly instalments of €3,000
A man and woman in Germany are facing a number of charges after detonating a pipe bomb outside a Lidl Supermarket in an attempt to extort money. Their plan, conceived in the hope of finding a place in the sun in Spain, left a Lidl employee slightly injured and police baffled at the inept planning carried out by the pair.
The couple, identified as Rüdiger D (48) and Liana D (54), allegedly targeted a recycling collection point for bottles outside the Lidl branch in Herten, a town north-east of Dusseldorf. The April bombing was part of an elaborate attempt by the couple, who both live off state benefits, to hold the supermarket chain to ransom in order to gather enough money to start a new life in Spain.
Police officers claim the pair built a crude pipe bomb in a bin, which they later detonated from afar using a mobile phone. Because they had no way of telling if anyone was beside the device, they have now been charged with attempted murder in addition to extortion.
The seemingly random attack in Herten had left local investigators baffled, but three days later Lidl received an email demanding it pay over €1m or face more bombings. The email added that if Lidl failed to pat up within a month, the ransom would be doubled.
Fortunately for police, the method the couple conceived to receive the money from Lidl turned out to be highly inefficient; Lidl was informed to install €3,000 into three separate bank accounts every single month to which the pair had registered three new credit cards under fake identities. But each one of the cards only had a daily withdrawal limit of €320. As such, it would have taken the D duo just under three years to gather all of their €1m loot.
After discussing the ransom plot with police, Lidl agreed to pay the first month’s €3,000 so that the culprits could be observed making withdrawals from the bank. Which they promptly did, wearing an assortment of wigs and face masks to hide their identities.
If found guilty, both Rüdiger D and Liana D face a minimum sentence of five years in jail apiece.