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article imageFormer elite cop in court for armed robbery to aid charity

By Anne Sewell     Jun 18, 2014 in Odd News
Vienna - In a case sounding similar to the story of Robin Hood, a former elite cop in the Viennese police special forces, was in court Tuesday to face charges for carrying out an armed robbery to allegedly finance a charitable aid project in Africa.
Named as Gabriel E., the 49-year-old was previously part of Vienna's special police forces unit and counter-terrorist SWAT team, WEGA (Wiener Einsatzgruppe Alarmabteilung). He and a younger female accomplice, 35-year-old Tamara S., appeared in court Tuesday.
Reportedly Gabriel retired from WEGA after being shot some time ago and joined the private security industry. According to testimony, he then spent some years in both Gabon and Equatorial Guinea, where he was apparently "profoundly moved" by the plight of what he called "the people who have nothing."
Gabriel wrote many letters, trying to get some form of charitable assistance for the impoverished people in Africa, but was unsuccessful.
Upon returning to Austria, he decided to take matters into his own hands both to help them in their plight and to set up an orphanage for the children in Gabon. On a visit to a church, he then enlisted the aid of Tamara S., who was also moved by his story. Tamara apparently started to prepare for her new life in Africa by getting a driver's license, learning English and also training as a paramedic.
Tamara was at that time working for Loomis, a security transport company, and it turns out Gabriel had also worked for the same company on a shorter, contract basis. This gave both parties considerable insider information about the alarm systems and the various security protections used by the company.
Acting like a couple of "Robin Hoods," they then prepared their plan to rob an armored transport vehicle, after which they planned to take the money to Africa to fund the desired orphanage.
According to Vienna Online, they initiated their plan on the evening of December 23, 2013. The couple, armed and wearing masks, held up the drivers of the Loomis secure transport vehicle, which was being used at the time to refill ATMs. Allegedly they hoped to escape with over 3 millions euros (just over $4 million) in cash from the heist.
Vienna police realized that such a robbery could only have been performed by someone with a great deal of inside knowledge. Also, while the couple were masked, the descriptions of one being female and of a slight build, made it easy to match the perpetrators to former employees of the company.
Around 100 000 euros recovered from an armed robbery in Vienna  Austria
Around 100,000 euros recovered from an armed robbery in Vienna, Austria
Vienna Police (LPD)
Police managed to recover the booty of around 110,000 euros ($150,000) hidden in the attic of Gabriel's parents' home and arrested the two criminals.
After confessing to the crime and appearing in court Tuesday, Gabriel E. and Tamara S. were each sentenced to eight years in prison. According to judge Claudia Zöllner, while she noted the charitable intentions of the pair, this was "no respectable motive" for the crime and therefore not to be considered as a mitigating factor in sentencing.
Austrian sources:
Vienna Online
Die Presse
The Local
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