Bielefeld (dpa / lnw) - The Bielefeld public prosecutor's office has drawn up an unusual charge of attempted extortion. It's about a 76-year-old man who is said to have tried to blackmail a Herford supermarket operator between March and October 2022. The accused is said to have demanded 60,000 euros, otherwise he would create a "threatening situation" around the clock every day. In addition, the author of the ransom note threatened unforeseen but permanent pinpricks in all branches of the company.
He warned of damage to the company's image because customers could no longer feel safe. He also called for a "silent implementation" without police. With the police, the demand increases to 95,000 euros.
The way they were contacted was also unusual. The supermarket operator should put sticky notes on an advertising column in Herford. Different colors of the notes should signal whether he complies with the demands or not. A phone number for direct contact should also be left there.
The defendant is said to have used it once. When he noticed that the police were already involved, the ransom demand increased to 70,000 euros. The police already had the relevant advertising pillar in view and then monitored the accused. Because the 76-year-old had been there by bike again and again and photographed the sticky notes.
The whole case dragged on because the letter writer's health problems made it impossible to hand over the money. Only when he announced that he would hand over money in the form of a "scavenger hunt" in October or November did the police search the accused's apartment and find a USB stick with the blackmail letters there. The exact background for the act is not yet clear, it is assumed that the 76-year-old wanted to improve his pension.
The indictment was brought before the jury in Herford. A hearing date has not yet been set.