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The former policeman was so affected by poverty he had seen on the African continent, he devised a plan to help ‘spread wealth around the world’.
A Robin Hood-style charity worker carried out Austria’s biggest-ever security van robbery and stole £3 million – to give it away.
The former policeman plotted with two others to hold up the cash van at gunpoint because he wanted to give the money to the needy in Africa.
The robber, who cannot be named under the country’s strict privacy laws, had set up his own security firm when he was forced to retire from the police after being shot on duty.
But after working in Africa, he was affected by the poverty and starvation he saw at first hand.
He planned the heist of the Loomis security van after discovering it was transporting money to fill Christmas time cash-machines in Vienna.
The robber then persuaded a former female employee of the firm to join his plot after convincing her to help him “spread wealth around the world”, he later told police.
Although they wore masks during the raid, one security firm worker told police she thought the woman caught on CCTV resembled a former co-worker.
After the pair were arrested, police discovered the cash hidden in the attic of the man’s in-laws as he celebrated Christmas with his family.
The robber had already shoved bundles of cash through neighbouring letter-boxes as anonymous donations to people he knew were suffering financial problems.
He later told police he had only given away a fraction of the money, as he wanted to give the bulk of it to orphans in Africa and wanted to build houses and schools in Equatorial New Guinea.
The man’s wife said he had come back a changed man after working in Africa.
She said: “When he was there he saw the starving children and this really affected him. Since then he was never the same. He was always planning charitable projects, and was always talking about dividing up wealth around the world.”
The man’s lawyer Werner Tomanek confirmed he had often donated to charity and helped people in need.
He said: “He wanted to send the money to Africa in a container full of cheap electronic items. He was keeping it in the attic until he got it organised. He told the family that the cases were full of old documents. Some of the money he also anonymously put through people’s letter boxes who he knew were in financial difficulty.”
The pair of robbers are in custody facing jail.
– Daily Mirror