German police officer steals 180kg of cheese and loses job

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German police officer steals 180kg of cheese and loses job

A German police officer stole around 180 kilograms of cheddar cheese from an overturned lorry after an accident and lost his job as a result, reported dpa.

The Rhineland-Palatinate Higher Administrative Court rejected an appeal by the man on Tuesday, meaning his previous conviction stands.

The police officer had worked for the motorway police and was supposed to secure the scene of an accident, the court said.

He had driven a police bus to the vicinity of the damaged lorry container and asked the employee of a salvage company there to hand him several packages of cheese.

He stole a total of nine cheese parcels, each weighing 20 kilograms, worth €554 ($594).

"The defendant brought some of the parcels to the office," the statement said. It can be assumed that he also kept some for himself and his friends and relatives.

In the appeal, the officer stated that the cheese was worth practically nothing and that he had wanted to save it from being destroyed. "He himself does not eat cheddar cheese at all."

The court took a different view: the man had committed theft while on duty in uniform and with his service weapon. "With this behaviour, the defendant greatly damaged the reputation of the country's police force," the court said.

It is irrelevant whether the cheese was of low value, the court added, emphasizing it was the officer's duty to prevent the theft.


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