German police arrest one of two jail-breakers

30th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

The two escaped from prison in Aachen armed with two pistols and 16 rounds of ammunition, sparking a major manhunt with police in other European countries alerted.

Berlin -- Police commandos in Germany arrested on Sunday one of two "particularly brutal" armed men on the run since breaking out of prison last week, but his fellow escapee remained at large, authorities said.

Michael Heckhoff, 50, serving life for attempted murder, was snatched after a passer-by noticed a black BMW in a side street in Muelheim that the pair had stolen in the nearby western city of Essen, police said in a statement.

However, Peter Paul Michalski, 46, sentenced for life for murder, was nowhere to be seen.

The two escaped from prison in Aachen, around 125 kilometres (80 miles) from Muelheim, on Thursday, armed with two pistols and 16 rounds of ammunition, sparking a major manhunt with police in other European countries alerted.

They got away after overpowering two prison workers and fleeing in a taxi towards Cologne, where they then hijacked a car driven by a 19-year-old woman and forced her at gunpoint to drive them to Essen.

There, they abandoned the car and the woman after running out of petrol.

On Saturday they broke into the house of an entrepreneur and his wife, stealing 200 euros (300 dollars) and their BMW 5-Series, taking the husband with them as hostage.

Both men, described by Aachen police chief Klaus Oelze as "particularly brutal", were serving life sentences with no possibility of early release.

Michalski committed a series of bank robberies after absconding from parole in 1993. According to press reports, he murdered one of his two accomplices in woods by shooting him in the groin and then in the back.

Heckhoff was jailed for robbing a bank in 1991 and taking two police officers hostage.

A year later he and an accomplice took five people hostage during a visit to the dentist using a fake gun made out of soap and bread. Two nurses and a prison guard were doused in a flammable liquid and set on fire.

The men demanded a million marks and a getaway car and Heckhoff was shot in the leg while inspecting the vehicle, reports said.

Police in Aachen said they had arrested a prison warder suspected of assisting in Thursday's escape. Reports said that the escapees made it through five locked doors before attacking a doorman and stealing the guns from a safe.

AFP/Expatica

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