In January of this year a masked man entered into a Sparkasse bank branch near the city of Leipzig, Germany and demanded the customers to drop to the floor. Brandishing an alarm gun, the man made his way to the teller’s desk and ordered the bank employee to hand over all the money.
Unsatisfied with the amount available in the front drawers, the man ordered a worker to open the bank vault. The man patiently waited the 25 minutes for the security system to allow the vault to be opened, then left the building 40,000 euros richer.
After leaving, police were immediately dispatched to the scene. The man attempted to flee, but it wouldn’t be long before officers were able to arrest the masked man. That’s when it was learned that the failed bank robber had been a crime writer.
The 48-year-old man had found himself in financial difficulties. Bills were piling up and with little other options, the author decided to turn to bank robbery, using a scene from one of his own books as inspiration.
In the author’s story, the robber is able to flee the bank by bicycle and quickly changes into clothing hidden behind a tree. The character is later apprehended by police after DNA evidence is discovered on the bicycle and a backpack.
It is still unclear why the author decided to draw inspiration from a bungled robbery, but it would seem that in this case the lines between fact and fiction truly were blurred. The suspect is awaiting trial this month.
This is not the first case of a crime writer imitating the subject they enjoyed writing about. In 2011, Nancy Mancuso Gelber was charged for being involved in a failed murder-for-hire plot against her husband.
The pair were planning to be divorced, but still lived together at the time Gelber attempted to hire the hitman. Gelber had been angry that her soon to be ex-husband had been having an affair with her best friend.
Gelber was caught when she contacted an undercover agent posing as a hitman. She was sentenced to serve 30 years in prison.